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C H I N A 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2008 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 






author of 

"in the forbidden land," "alone with the 

hairy ainu," "corea, the land of 

the morning calm," etc. 





Copyright, 1901, by 

Published, May, 1901 







The aim of this book has been to give a record 
of events as they occurred, and to avoid national or 
personal prejudice. 

A. Henry Savage Landor. 




The Boxers or Volunteer United Fists— Their origin— The Big 
Sword Society — Unlawful societies — The Jesuits and secret so- 
cieties—A crusade against " foreign devils " — Evil influence of 
Buddhist priests— Their enmity towards strangers— Premature 
outbreak — Grasping dealings of Europeans — Extent of the Boxer 
movement I 


Kwang-Hsu's reform edicts — A Boxer proclamation — The Loo or 
Assembly halls — Boxers' distinguishing colours — How the Box- 
ers were armed — Invulnerability — Occult powers — Boxer war 
song and initiation 7 


A Boxer rhyme — A bit of prose — Roman Catholics and the Boxers 
— Mistaken beliefs of the Boxers and their origin — Malicious 
placards — Buddhist priests and hypnotism — Massacred Euro- 
peans — The magic mirror 15 


Boxer wedding — Special god of the Boxers — Boxer altars — Incrim- 
inating documents in the Viceroy's Yaaien — Sacred edict issued 
by the Lord of Wealth and Happiness — A divine prescription — 
The real leader of the Boxers — His descent — The active leader 
of the Boxers and his influence over the fanatics — Political and 
religious movement 21 


The official correspondence of Sir Claude MacDonald with Lord 
Salisbury — The murder of Mr. Brooks — Useless representations 



to the Tsung-li-Yamen — Misrepresentations of the Chinese am- 
bassador in London — The disturbed Shantung province — Danger 
of missionaries — Details of Brooks's murder — The British Min- 
ister's apologies for Chinese murderers — The natural result of 
travelling in a wheelbarrow — Yu-H'sien, Governor of Shantung 
— The Boxer movement spreading — Serious trouble expected — 
A naval demonstration in North Chinese waters deemed advis- 
able — The French Minister the only one well-informed . . 26 


Anti-foreign Yu-H'sien appointed Governor of Shansi — A slap in 
the face for England and America — An alarming telegram — 
Imperial decree satisfactory as far as it went, in Sir Claude Mac- 
Donald's opinion — The decree 32 


The Boxer movement spreads in the Chili province — Ships re- 
quested to proceed to Taku — Brooks's murderers punished and 
compensation paid — The request to suppress the Boxer and Big 
Sword societies — The special Imperial audience regarding the 
succession to the Throne — The young Prince Yu-Chun elected 
heir — His tutors — Decree by the Emperor's own pen . . -27 


The difficulty in obtaining the publication of an Imperial edict in 
the Pekin Gazette — Temporising — An important and stormy 
meeting at the Yamen — Absence of the Russian Minister — Baron 
von Ketteler's accusations and merriment of the Yamen Min- 
isters — Excuses — An international naval demonstration deemed 
necessary — Yu-H'sien's appointment — A flat refusal . . -44 


crisis approaching — Destruction of villages and mission-houses 
by the Boxers — Roman Catholic missionaries killed — A marine 
guard retained in Tientsin — Troubles in Kung-tsun — A meeting 
of the foreign Ministers in Pekin — Their disinclination to bring 
up guards — Rain better than Maxim guns — Sham displays of 
the Chinese to suppress the insurgents — Baron von Ketteler sus- 
picious of the Chinese Government's promises — Guards to be 
sent for to protect the Legations- 49' 




Bishop Favier and his knowledge of China — His historical letter — 
The contrast to our Minister's information 54 


Pekin-Tientsin railway destroyed — Foresight of French and Rus- 
sian Ministers — Their guards on their way to Pekin — Pekin in 
extreme danger — Imperial troops unite with the Boxers — Im- 
perial favour shown to the rebels — How the Chinese regard our 
civilisation — Their dream of revenge — H.M.S. flag-ship Centu- 
rion and the Whiting, Endymion, and Fame proceed to Taku . 59 


The escape of the Belgian and Italian railway engineers from the 
town of Pao-ting-fu — Attempt to reach Tientsin by boat — M. 
Ketels' relief expedition — The first refugees — In a sad plight — 
The journey by water — Terrible experiences — A fatal attempt to 
retreat to Pao-ting-fu — A junk attacked by Boxers — A fearful 
night 63 


A disastrous journey on foot — Chased by Boxers — Hand-to-hand 
fights — Dissension among the refugees — Separation — The last 
night — Hiding in a marsh — The capture of a Chinese gun — Safe 
at last — M. Ketels and his volunteers — Cossacks and their pluck 
— Lieutenant Blonsky the most wounded officer of the Allies . 67 


A coup d'etat feared — Situation in Pekin grave — Messrs. Robinson 
and Norman murdered — Chinese Christians in serious straits — 
An interview with Prince Ching — Refusal of the Chinese Gov- 
ernment to deal firmly with the Boxers — Difficulties in obtaining 
an Imperial audience — Hampering formalities — A conference on 
the flag-ship Centurion — Sir Claude MacDonald's discretion left 
unfettered by his Government — Evil effects of the Chinese decree 
in the Pekin Gazette 72 


Imperial Decree from the Pekin Gazette, June 6 — Western Churches 
and men of evil character — Boxers the Patriots and Champions 



of peace — The children of the Throne — Official neglect of duties 
— Riots — Disbandment of societies — The Generalissimo Jung-lu 
to pursue and punish the rebels — Secret investigations — No mercy ']^ 


The situation in Pekin critical — Boxer placard posted in the West 
City, Pekin — Boxer altars — Drilling of Boxers — Foreigners 
mobbed — Cataleptic subjects exhibited by Buddhist priests — 
Vice-Admiral Seymour in command of Relief Expedition — Rear- 
Admiral Bruce in command of British Squadron — An alarming 
message — Force landed 8i 


A meeting of Consuls and Naval Commandants in Tientsin — More 
alarming news from the Capital — French and Russian advice — 
The usual formalities — Four trains proceed to the Relief of Pekin 
— Imperial troops at Yangtsun — The first troubles of the Ex- 
pedition — Railway line damaged — Approaching enemy — The 
first engagement with Boxers — Great bravery of the fanatics — 
Reinforcements for the Allies — At Lanfang — Railway torn up . 85 


Head-quarters at Lanfang — Entry of troops into Pekin to be op- 
posed — Murder of the Chancellor of the Japanese Legation — 
Conciliatory visits and orders to slaughter — Customs buildings 
wrecked — European graveyard desecrated — A specified date — 
Danger of the relief force being cut off — The advisability of 
capturing the Taku forts — On June 13 — A skirmish of Ameri- 
cans and Boxers — An attempt to destroy the armoured trains — 
An Italian picket cut off — Chinese vitality — Rushing quick- 
firing guns 92 


A second attack — Report of a scouting party — Matters in Tientsin 
reach a crisis — Imperial soldiers destroying the railway line at 
Yangtsun — The return of the Expedition — Villages burnt — 
Germans capture junks — An attack on the trains by Boxers and 
Imperial troops — Enemy well-armed — Casualties of the Allies — 
Critical situation for the Relief Expedition — The trains aban- 
doned — On the march — The enemy attacked and driven away 
from a strong position — Attack on a village in possession of 
Boxers and soldiers — The British Consul and the Viceroy of 
Tientsin — Mr. Carles' telegram — Lord Salisbury's generous offer 96 




Firing in the direction of Tientsin — The Pei-tsang fight — Under 
heavy fire — Captain Jellicoe mortally wounded — Four hours' 
hard fighting — Tientsin hard pressed — Hampered by wounded — 
Short of ammunition and food — A Chinese feint — The Allies in 
a trap — The storming of a fort and arsenal — An unsuccessful 
attempt to open communication with Tientsin — The Chinese 
gallantly endeavour to recapture their lost position — Captain 
McCalla — The death of Captain Beyts 102 


Two quiet days — Harassing the enemy — A dust-storm — Signals of 
distress — The use of newly acquired guns — Foreign troops 
sighted — The relief force relieved by Colonel Shirinsky — Re- 
moving the wounded — International brotherly feeling — An ap- 
palling number of wounded — Back in Teintsin — What the men 
thought of Admiral Seymour — Seymour's tribute to his men . 107 


Developments at Taku and Tientsin — A strong Chinese force ad- 
vancing on Taku — A council of Admirals convened on board the 
Rossia — Mines and torpedoes laid at the mouth of the Pei-ho — 
A defensive attitude to be adopted by the Allies — The Taku 
forts the key of the position — Japanese to guard the railway 
station — A second council on the Kossia — Prince Tuan — Chinese 
friendliness regarded with distrust by naval commanders — 
Remonstrances — The Governor of Chili commanded to hand 
over the Taku and Tong-ku forts — Chinese refusal — Plans for 
an attack — Big ships of the Allies — Gunboats up-stream — Mines 
laid across the bar — The U.S.S. Monocacy 112 


Shifting the moorings — The Korectz sufifers heavily — Commander 
Wise — A position of absolute safety — The IVhiting and Fame 
capture four Chinese torpedo-destroyers and convey them to 
Tong-ku— A 5-inch shell— Gunboats fare badly— The United 
States at peace with China — Admiral Kempflf refuses to join in 
the attack of forts — A strange coincidence 118 


A fierce cannonade — The range — Chinese magazine blown up — The 
storming party — Advance in parallel columns — Skirmishing 



order — Smartness of the Japanese — The gallant Captain Hattori 
killed — A pathetic incident — The first to enter — The North-West 
Fort — The capture of the North Fort — The British flag first — 
The South Forts holding out — Every fort in the hands of the 
Allies — The Russian flag — The humours of war .... 122 


Captain Stewart of the Algerine — Lieutenant-Commanders McKen- 
zie and Keyes — Commander Lanz of the litis — German shells 
for German ships — Excellent practice of Chinese gunners — In- 
side the forts — A characteristic letter — The journey by water 
from Taku to Tientsin — At Tong-ku — Cossacks — Columns of 
black smoke 129 


The walled native city and the foreign concessions — The railway 
station — The mud wall or " Sankolin's Folly " — Detring and 
Dickinson's houses and the racecourse — The North Fort — The 
East Arsenal and the Military College — Mounds of salt — The 
Viceroy's Yamen — The West Arsenal — The Hsiku or " Siku " 
Arsenal — Landmarks — The Gordon Hall — The arrival of Rus- 
sians — A foiled attempt to communicate with Seymour — The 
native city in the hands of Boxers — A threatening moment . 134 


An interesting letter — Mormon habits — Chinese prophesies — Prof- 
fered hospitality declined — An armed train to proceed to Yang- 
tsun — Shelling of the Settlement by the Chinese — The enemy 
repulsed — Attack on the Military College — A gratifying despatch 141 


A heavy attack on the Station — Chinese daring — A joint movement 
of British and Russians — A gallant attempt to seize two Chinese 
guns — Captain Beattie's bravery — To the relief of Tientsin — A 
stubborn resistance — Held in check — Mutilated Americans — 
Casualties — Tientsin relieved — The force landed — Unfounded 
statements — At Taku — Captain Warrender and the transport 
arrangements — A protocol on board the Rossia — Captain Wise 
in control at Tong-ku — Captain Bayly in command in Tientsin 
— The Admirals and the Shanghai Consuls 146 




The assurances of the Viceroys and Governors of the Southern 
Provinces — A memorial — Denouncing the Boxers — In the inter- 
est of the Empire — Stringent measures needed — On the verge of 
a great calamity — Worried and alarmed 152 


A satisfactory proclamation — For the preservation of order — A 
tangible agreement with foreign consuls — Confidence in provin- 
cial governments — Manufacturers of news and insurgents — 
Merchants and peaceful people to be protected .... 156 


More Russian reinforcements — Much shelling and little damage — 
Chinese segment-shells — To the relief of Seymour — Disastrous 
to furniture — An interesting collection — The Wei-hai-wei Chi- 
nese regiment — A note from Sir Robert Hart — Lieutenant- 
Cc-lonel Shirinsky the liberator of the Seymour Expedition — 
The capture of the Pei-Yang Arsenal — The arrival of Japanese 
troops — Junks seized — A laconic message from Sir Robert Hart 
— An extraordinary consular advice — The answer it deserved — 
The arrival of Vice-Admiral Alexieff — International forces 
landed — Field and machine guns — The projected advance on 
Pekin — A proposal to Japan — Germany — The situation discussed 
— The Maxims in action 161 


Haphazard shooting — Mr. Campbell wounded — A lake of sugar — 
French troops — Refugees — Chinese shells — Attempting to seize 
the pontoon bridge — Russian gallantry — Women and children — 
A reconnaissance — The enemy's Krupp guns — Two 12-pounder 
guns — A serious attack on the railway station — The Settlement 
heavily shelled — Exodus of refugees — Accurate Chinese fire — 
Arrival of Japanese troops and two 4-inch British guns — Artil- 
lery available in Tientsin — Temperance Hall the chief target — 
A reconnoitring party — The Wei-hai-wei regiment under fire — 
More guns arrive 167 


The 4-inch naval gun — Captain Bayly Provost-Marshal — The West 
Arsenal — British refugees uncared for — Operations against the 



West Arsenal — A British naval 4-inch gun mounted — Guns on 
the Mud-wall — The enemy's artillery — Marvellous shooting — 
Lyddite shells — Another determinate attack on the Station — The 
exact range — The wounded of the Pekin brigade — Lieutenant 
Blonsky — Admiral Seymour returns to Taku .... 174 


The attack on the native city — Troops taking part in the operations 
and their respective positions — Chinese quick-firing guns and 
modern rifles — Giiigals — The defenders of the city — Swampy 
ground and lack of cover — Plucky Pathans — The death of 
Colonel Liscum — A difficult position — A reported conversation 
— The plucky Japanese — At the South Gate — Blowing up the 
gates — Scaling the wall — The gate opened — The fall of the city 
— Town set fire to — The devotion of a practical son — The Ar- 
senal and Armoury . . . 181 


The looting of Tientsin — The residents — A special case — A day's 
free hand — The only punishment — A study of the looters — 
Tommy Atkins and Jack Tar — The friends at home — Good- 
hearted devils 189 


The Japanese soldier — His dignified demeanour — His artistic taste 
— Delicate touch — Appreciation of Art — Watches for preference 196 


The American soldier — No worse and no better than others — His 
good qualities — The delights of smashing China vases — A first- 
class fellow — His topic of conversation — Art and lump silver — 
His popularity among the Allies — Guarding the Armoury — In 
the Yamen of the Commissioner of Salt — A diabolical picture — 
Several million dollars — A mountain of silver .... 200 


The French soldier — Clothes and eatables — A touching incident — 
The Russian troops — Not quite so black as they are painted — A 
fancy for jewellery and perfumery — The manner of the Russian 
soldier — An untidy looter — Musical boxes spared — Italian opera 



selections refreshing but out of place — A marvellous work of 
art — Evil spirits and their ways 206 


Chinese looters — Soldiers and Boxers in disguise — Disgusting greed 
— Buddhist priests — In official palaces — Digging for treasure — 
The less daring Chinamen — Flags of truce — Appealing inscrip- 
tions — A prevailing impression 21 1 


A walk through the town — Still alive — The Red Cross — A pande- 
monium — Dividing loot — A pawnshop — Furs, gold and silk 
embroideries 216 


The ramparts of the city wall — Modern rifles and obsolete weapons 
— A defiant Manchu — The looting of the looters — Handy polyglot 
abilities — A few plain truths — Three chapters of a story in a 
nutshell — Fortunes made and lost 221 


Across the Grand Canal — The Viceroy's Yamen — Important docu- 
ments — Arms destroyed — The Viceroy's apartments — The War 
Office — Drill-books — Scientific books — The Foreign Office — 
Foreign treaties — Documents referring to the Boxer movement 
— The Female Boxer Society — Captured guns — The value of two 
heads of foreigners — Rewards for facing the enemy — Fighting 
in the day and cash payments at night — Articles supplied to the 
Boxers by the Government — A much-rewarded lieutenant — 
Receipts growing bigger as the Allies advanced — By the Vice- 
roy's command — Rewards to Boxers and their families — The last 
entry in the Viceroy's day-book 225 


Yu-lu's doings — A proclamation — Banishment and blows — Fencing 
and boxing — Children of the Government — Pardon for past 
faults — Christians and Missionaries — Emperor's sarcasm — A 
message to Queen Victoria — England and China ^. . . . 235 




Missionaries — Good and bad — Christianity at the point of the sword 
— Under a terrific strain — Missionaries and the Boxer movement 
— A political as well as a religious movement against all 
foreigners alike — Providence and machine guns — Practical mis- 
sionaries wanted — Timothy Richards — A power in himself — 
Missionary refugees — In fancy dress — Undisguised merriment 
of the Chinese 240 


A more important error — A painful sight — Chinese clothes without 
the appropriate etiquette — The historical Japanese lady and her 
misfortunes — The question of general capacity — Christian work 
in the East — The crime of sending unprotected young women 
into the interior — Money wasted 246 


Protestant missionaries massacred — The missionaries at Pao-ting- 
fu — In the Governor's Yamen — The Governor's consideration — 
Anti-foreign Yu-Hsien — An attack on the Roman Catholic and 
the American Presbyterian Missions — Sacrificed on the grave of 
a Boxer leader — Before her mother's eyes — An offering to the 
Red-faced God of War — Women Boxers — Reward for their 
services — The China inland missionaries — A terrible end — 
Words and facts — American citizens — A general massacre — 
" New hands " — Pao-ting-fu the centre of the Boxer movement 250 


Mr. McConnell's party — The Governor of Che-Kiang — A friendly 
magistrate — The cruelty of a Taotai — Tragic end of two ladies 
— The staff of the American Board Mission at Tai-ku and Fen- 
Chow-fu assassinated 255 


The escape from Ping-yuo — The Empress-Dowager's edict — A stout 
resistance in the Baptist Mission — Persecution and extortion — 
Mobbed and stripped of everything — Driven before a yelling 
crowd — Led to the execution ground — Interesting resemblance 
— Shocking death — The sad end of two American young ladies — 
Carried before the Temple oracle — A fearful ordeal — A wit — 
Treated as common criminals 259 




The evil deeds of Yu-Hsien— Exceptional atrocity— The first riot- 
Driven to the Yamen — Slaughtered in the Governor's presence 
— Adding insult to injury — A general massacre of foreigners 
and converts— reward offered for Mr. and Mrs. Piggott's 
release — A mistake 265 


Massacred Protestant missionaries — Boxer consideration — The war- 
like qualities of Roman Catholics — Martyrs — Barricaded at 
Ch'ing-Ting-fu — A gallant defence — Catholics and their converts 269 


Thousands killed — Mr. Gammon's staff of colporteurs — The Ameri- 
can Bible store in Pekin and the Emperor — Chinese translations 
of religious and scientific books — Prosperous days of the reform 
party — Demand for foreign books — Mr. Gammon's ability — An 
historical wife 273 


A journey in the interior — Trappists and Buddhists — Preparations 
—Money— Men and baggage — The start— A quaint village— A 
wayside inn — A Christian cook — Interesting Mahommedan in- 
.scriptions — An open-air theatre — Steep incline — Miao-fung-shan 
mountains — A Christian village — A slippery road — Personal 
interest — When to marry 277 


Tai-han-ling Pass — Two tablets — A clean village — Catholics — Lack- 
ing repose — A great commotion — Destroyed by the Boxers — A 
picturesque Buddhist priest — A strange notion — The sitter's soul 
— Obnoxious women — Restitution of the missing soul — Infallible 
remedies and how to administer them 282 


Magnificent scenery — The Great Wall — The Towers of Tung-an- 
tzu — The Trappist monastery — A secluded valley — Father 
Maurus — Silence — No converts — A vegetable lunch — Simplicity 
and happiness — Adopted customs — Accused of concealing fire- 
arms — Novices and fathers — All thoughts to the Lord — A 
Manchu father 287 




Latin and cookery — Shepherds — The Manchu's new creed and 
cooking utensils — Salad, honey, and jujubes — Wild animals — 
The Trappist and the leopard — A saintly life — Gentle Christians 
— Hostility towards the Trappists — The Chief of the village — 
Suggestive pictures 293 


The fathers at dinner — The dormitory — Trappists' dress — My bed- 
room — The Great Wall of China — Towers — On Trinity day — 
Man and speech — A sad story 298 


A narrow valleys-Mud villages — The " Eighteen Terraces " — De- 
vout muleteers — A tablet — Pure Mongol type — Incomprehensible 
dialect — A perforated mountain — Sheu-men-tzu — Not a paradise 
of comfort — The " kan " — The walled courtyard — Chinese food 
— A panic — The magic rubber band — A wind-storm — A strange 
phenomenon — A ghost-like dance — Blinding dust . . . 302 


At the foot of the sacred mountain — The Temple grounds — My Mon- 
gol guide — A south-west track — A treacherous stone — A violent 
shock — Anxious moments 308 


The right trail — The summit of the mountain — The altitude — A 
wooden shrine — Images of Buddha — " Wishes " — The panorama 
— Mount Show-ho-ling and its giant neighbour — Overhanging a 
precipice — On a wooden platform — An unsteady path — A hard 
jump — The Mongol guide and the gods — Gilt Buddhas — Another 
difficulty surmounted — An attempt to blackmail — Armed bonzes 
— Parting friends 312 


Stoned — Thirteen hours in my saddle — Marshy country — A com- 
fortable separate room — Sickening smell — " Only " dead of 
smallpox — In a drenching rain — Women in all their finery — 
Deformed feet — A miserable hamlet — The obstinate donkey and 
the hole-man — The highway from Pekin to Kalgan — A fine stone 



bridge — Numerous towers — Fire signalling — The Great Wall at 
Cha-tao — The gate of Tziun-kuan — Stockinged pigs — Caravans 
— The Nankao Pass — The Ming tombs — The avenue of gigantic 
animals — Our last halt — Unsanitary regulations — A festive vil- 
lage — Fishing 319 


A good rest — The prevalent idea — The Generals of the Allies and 
their opinion — Unnecessary accusations — Reinforcements — 
Prominent features in Tientsin — Bathing not a luxury — The 
Russian and American bands — News of the Legations — Sir 
Claude MacDonald's pathetic letter — A message to the Ameri- 
can Consul and one to the Japanese Consul 325 


Preparing for the advance — A conference of Generals — An im- 
mediate start — A reconnaissance — On August 4 — A guard for 
Tientsin — The number of troops marching on Pekin — At the 
Siku Arsenal — The position of the Allies — Pei-tsang — Enemy in 
great force — The Americans — The magazine — The first line of 
Chinese trenches 334 


The battle of Pei-tsang^ — Drawing the enemy's fire — The Japanese 
artillery — Occasional jokes — A Chinese shell — A spot of com- 
parative safety — Japanese wounded — A narrow escape — Japanese 
humour — The Royal Artillery — Chinese fire slackening — The 
British cavalry — The 41st Japanese — Photographs under fire — 
Capturing enemy's trenches — Heavy casualties — A touching 
scene — The enemy driven from his trenches 341 


Chinese guns — The Japanese cavalry — Ten guns captured — Success 
after success — Maxims — An amusing incident — In the Chinese 
trenches — A ghastly spectacle — The Russian and French — The 
Japanese Engineers — Sharp fighting — To pursue the enemy — A 
report — The Chinese troops — A severe blow — A great battle — 
The pontoon bridge — Japanese Red Cross 347 


The enemy in strong force — On the east bank of the Pei-ho — 
Transport troubles — Chinese mules and their ways — The Bengal 



Lancers — Enemy commanding a wedge-shaped position — The 
railway embankment — The line of battle — Slow advance under 
heavy fire — The ist Sikhs and American Infantry — Russian Ar- 
tillery — Brave Lieut. Murphy, Capt. Scott and Capt. Martin — 
Two single lines — Severe Orders — Chinese withdraw in good 
order — Chinese trenches — Enemy protecting their retreat — 
Chinese mistaken for French — Americans taken for Chinese — 
Pursuing the enemy — Casualties — An American funeral . . 354 


A day's rest — Disgusting cruelty — Japanese in touch with the enemy 
— A Conference of Allied Generals — The Allied line of march — 
The French troops and their Commissariat — The Allied Cavalry 
— The Advance-guard fighting enemy's cavalry — General Ma's 
cook — Half-way to Pekin — Skirmish at Ho-si-wu — The Tska- 
moto brigade — Storming Matao — A surprise at Chang-chia-wan 
— Under cover — Intelligence of horses — A halt — Mahomedans . 364 


Selection of camps — Corn-fields — Maps — The way to Pekin — A 
picturesque temple — The red and the black-faced God of War — 
A pale-faced god — Stifling heat — Japanese and the watermelons 
— British — Indian — The Russian soldier — Kitchen on wheels — 
Prayers 371 


Nearing Tung-chow — Japanese artillery — A cut in the river bank 
— A midnight attack — Home-made guns — Gate blown up — A 
Deputation — Suicides — The British naval guns — Business as 
usual — An unlucky beggar — Severed heads — A faithful little dog 
— A well-earned rest — The Advance-guard on a reconnaissance — 
A Conference of the Allied Generals — To march at once on 
Pekin Z77 


A Buddhist Priest Frontispiece 



" Strike Earth and its gates will give way ! " 

>• 12 

" Strike towards Heaven and its gates will be opened, 


Lightning, Thunder, and Wind 36 

Pagoda in centre of Tientsin Native City 64 

The U.S.S. Monocacy and the Coal Heaps, Tong-ku 121 

The Railway Station and Wharf at Tong-ku 150 

The North Fort, Tientsin 170 

The Devotion of a Practical Son 188 

In the Armoury 202 

Digging for Treasure 212 

Europeans conveying Loot into the Settlement 224 

In the Viceroy's Yamen 234 

A Fire and Fuse of Mine near Railway Station, Tientsin 254 

Junks on the Pei-ho 272 

Effect of the Shells of the Allies on the South Wall of 

Tientsin City 324 

The Capture of a Chinese Trench 344 

With the Japanese 346 

One of the Author's Pekin Carts with Three-Mule Team . . . 356 

Russian Artillery 362 

Russian Infantry on the March to Pekin 376 




A Buddhist Priest, a Leader of Boxers i 

A Boxer and his Pony 5 

A Chinese Soldier 7 

A Prisoner Buddhist Priest waiting to be shot 10 

" Strike towards Heaven and its Gates will be opened " 13 

China from behind 17 

A Monk objecting to be photographed 19 

, A Prayer on Yellow Paper 22 

Gods in a Buddhist Temple 23 

A Boxer Standard captured by Pathans in Tientsin 24 

Junks with Refugees 27 

A French Man-of-War 30 

Junk on the Pei-ho River 33 

Chefoo Harbour 38 

The Taku Forts and the Pei-ho River 45 

Russian Marines 49 

Russians landing at Tong-Ku 60 

Cossacks in Tientsin 69 

A Russian Officer 85 

The Yangtsun Railway Bridge 87 

Lieut. Sirianni, Sub-Lieut. Premoli, and Italian Marines from the 
Calabria and Elba who accompanied the Seymour Expedition.. 95 

The Wrecked Cathedral, Tientsin 100 

Dead Boxers and Soldiers 103 

The Taku South Forts 114 

The Allied Fleets outside the Taku Bar 116 

Commander Wise, U.S.S. Monocacy 119 

A captured Chinese Destroyer 121 

Tong-Ku Native Town 127 

The Tientsin Settlement 139 

The South-east Fort, Tientsin 144 

Tientsin Railway Station shelled - 147 

Captain Warrender 149 

Chinese Prisoners, Tientsin 157 

The Effects of a Shell on a Chest of Drawers 162 

Shells, Missiles, etc., collected in Mr. Gammon's House 163 

A Lake of Burnt Sugar 168 

The Salt Mounds in Tientsin 169 



A Soldier of the Wei-hai-wei Regiment 172 

The Joss House or West Arsenal 175 

The 4-inch Naval Gun from H.M.S. Phoenix 177 

A 6-pounder Quick-firing Gun on the Mud Wall 178 

The Wounded of the " Pekin Brigade " towed down River by the 

Heron 179 

A 6-pounder Gun on the Mud Wall 182 

The South Gate scaled by the Japanese I85 

A Chinese Flag and Lances 187 

British Bluejackets returning into the Settlement after the Battle 

of Tientsin 189 

A Gate of Tientsin — Looters and Flag of Truce 191 

Entrance to the Arsenal and Armoury — City Wall from inside. .. . 193 
The Wei-hai-wei Regiment returning from the attack on the Native 

City 195 

American and Japanese Wounded returning into the Settlement.. . 197 
Japanese conveying Wounded into the Settlement after the Battle 

of Tientsin 198 

Americans conveying a Japanese wounded into the Settlement after 

the Battle of Tientsin 201 

In the Armoury — Chinese Confiscated Guns 203 

A Mountain of Silver 204 

A Charred Body 208 

Chinese Looters 212 

A Flag of Truce 214 

An Imperial Defender of the City 217 

A Common Sight 221 

In the " War Office " 227 

Receipt found in Viceroy's Yamen 229 

Document found in Viceroy's Yamen 233 

Road leading to the West Arsenal 236 

On the Wall of Tientsin Native City the day it was captured by 

the Allies 241 

. • . . . 
Missionaries in Chinese Attire 247 

The Taotai of Shanghai going to pay an official visit 251 

Chinese Refugees eating a hearty meal on board a British Vessel . . 256 

Colporteurs of the American Bible Society murdered by Boxers. .. 273 

Boxer Leader captured by Mr. Gammon recognising the head of 

his decapitated brother 275 

The Wall of China at Tung-an-tzu 300 



The Summit of Siao-ou-tai-shan 313 

A difficult Jump 315 

An American Poet and Newspaper Correspondent 327 

Indian Troops bathing — Tientsin 328 

The Author's Indian and Chinese Servants bringing Artillery Pack- 
saddles on a Wheelbarrow 335 

Americans preparing to start for the advance on Pekin 336 

Japanese advancing under fire 343 

Japanese Soldiers photographed as they were being killed 344 

Chinese Soldier killed 345 

Captured position of Chinese Gun 348 

Chinese Soldier with Left Leg blown off by a Shell 349 

The captured Pontoon-bridge 351 

Japanese Red Cross collecting wounded under fire 352 

Enemy's Guns captured by the Japanese and First Man who 

reached them 353 

Japanese crossing the River after the Battle of Pei-tsang 355 

Chinese Position on Railway at Yangtsun 357 

The Battle-field of Yangtsun 358 

Lieut. Murphy, 14th U. S. Infantry 361 

Japanese storming Matao 367 

Japanese Advance Guard shelled by the Chinese 368 

Russian Kitchen on Wheels 375 

Japanese Sappers repairing Cut in River Bank 378 

Japanese entering the Walled Town of Tung-chow 380 

A Faithful Little Dog 381 


Sketch Map of Country Traversed by the Seymour Expedition. ... 89 

The Operations of the Allies at Taku 123 

Sketch Map of Tientsin 135 

Attack of the Allies on Tientsin Native City 183 

Sketch Plan of the attack on Pei-tsang 337 

Plan of the Yangtsun Battle 359 

From Tientsin to Tung-chow 372 


The cover of this book is symbolic of the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan, or Boxer .Society, 
clenched and supported by the five-clawed Imperial dragons. 

The end papers are fac-simile reproductions of pages in Chinese Army Drill- 





The Boxers or Volunteer United Fists — Their origin — The Big 
Sword Society — Unlawful societies — The Jesuits and secret 
societies — A crusade against " foreign devils " — Evil influ- 
ence of Buddhist priests — Their enmity towards strangers 
— Premature outbreak — Grasping dealings of Europeans — 
Extent of the Boxer movement. 

I DO not know who invented the name " Boxers " as a 
translation of the words Ih-hzvo-Ch'uan, by which the anti- 
foreign societies in China call themselves, but whoever did 
so was wrong. 

To make matters clear, the Chinese characters Ih-hzvo- 
Cli'uan, which, translated literally, mean Volimteer United 

Fists, are here reproduced. The word " Usts " is not 
Vol. I.— I 


used in the sense of " boxing," but is merely symbolic 
of " being- strongly clenched together." In fact, in the 
rhymes which these revolutionaries chant 
while assembled, or when attacking the 
"T I '^ ^» enemy, they allude to their organisation 
"^ V/ as the Ih-hwo-t'wan instead of ^ ^ 
^^ Ch'uan, thus altering the mean- ~t" - 
ing into " Volunteer United 
Trained Bands." As everybody 
knows, in China the dialects are 
numerous, and in the Pekin dia- 
lect the word is pronounced Ih-ho- 
tim, although naturally the char- 
acters in writing are the same. 
This was undoubtedly the old name 
secretly used in former times by the so-called " Boxers," 
and would identify them with the secret society sup- 
pressed at the beginning of the century, in 1809. 

The organisation went in those days by the name of 
Ih-Hwa-Hwei (Volunteer Harmony Society), a now 
obsolete meaning, but still recognised by the Chinese 
I j^ in that combination of characters, whereas the usual 
V^ meaning of the particular character " Hwa " in other 
combinations is " justice " or " righteousness." The 
Empress-Dowager, in one of her messages approving 
of the so-called Boxers, gave severe instructions never to 
mention the word (Hwa), = Harmony, in the presence of 


strangers, so the character ^0 was changed to that of ^* 

(Hwo), which means United, and which her Majesty fully 
approved. The character Hwei was dropped altogether. 


being forbidden by law, as it applied only to secret and un- 
lawful societies. It was' replaced by the two alternative 
characters given above, viz., Ih-hwo-chuan and Ih-hwo-fuan. 

As early as 1747, during the reign of the Emperor 
Kien-lung, we find that the Jesuits were expelled 
owing to the workings and machinations of this 
secret society, and in the following reign of Kia- 
King, as I have already mentioned, it became 
absolutely necessary to suppress it. 

The Society has since at different times given righteous 
trouble, its attacks being principally directed on unanimous 
missionaries and converts, but not until the year society 
1900 did the movement, under the protection of the 
Throne, assume such gigantic proportions that all the great 
nations of the world together found at first some difficulty 
in coping with it. Contrary to what people in Europe and 
America have been led to believe, this movement was no 
local rising against missionaries, but was a well-planned 
crusade against all " foreign devils." It spread more or 
less all over the Chinese Empire, and was backed to its ut- 
most limit by the greatest and most powerful organisation 
in China, the Buddhist monks, the Lamas. With civilisa- 
tion slowly finding its way to the remotest corners of the 
Heavenly Empire, and with the prospect before them of 
losing in the near future that power of oppression which 
the ignorance of superstitious masses had hitherto rendered 
possible, these monks now attempted a desperate and final 
stand against all that threatened their livelihood. The 
combination was greatly strengthened by princes of the 
Imperial blood throwing in their lot with this crusade 
against foreigners and foreign civilisation, and formally 
proclaiming their leadership, as well as by all corrupt soci- 


eties in China joining in to support the movement. The 
suppressed Ih-hwa-Hzvei had developed secretly into the 
Big Szvord Society (Ta-tao-Hwo), and at its head stood an 
1 1 ^ old Buddhist monk. Its associates were / 
j\\ 1 i. referred to by the better Chinese of the J\ 
"^ Reform party as Cliu-fe, or rebels. TT 

id I— With Pao-ting-fu as a starting-point -^^ 

"W I for the parent outbreak, and upon the S^ 

murder of Messrs. Norman and Robin- — 
son, S.P.G., things were precipitated beyond the control 
of those at the head of the movement. Matters unexpect- 
edly came to a crisis. 

According to instructions received in different locaHties, 
the outbreak was not to take place till the Ninth Moon 
(about October). Tientsin and Taku would be frozen 
shortly after that time, so that, had events occurred as they 
had been planned, it would have been impossible for the 
Allied forces to capture the Taku forts and relieve Tientsin 
and Pekin till the spring or summer of 1901, if even then. 
It was fortunate for Europeans that the alarm was sounded 
before the Chinese were ready in all parts of the Empire, 
or we might have fared worse than we did in the present 
instance. Indeed, with Pekin as a centre for the crusade, 
the Buddhist monks had been pursuing their diabolical 
propaganda far and wide in every direction all over the 
Empire. It has only now been ascertained that for over 
two years they had been particularly active. The outcome 
of their efforts showed itself plainly in places far apart, such 
as the Shansi province and Canton city, the Shantung 
province, Chefoo, Newchuang. Placards were posted at 
Nanking and all over Sze-chuan, while at Yunan-fu things 
were made unpleasant for the French residents. There 


were serious riots at Woo-chow, and from Swatow the ex- 
istence of a mysterious society was reported which had 
suddenly sprung up, and was reHgious and political in its 
aims. Its particular objects were the promotion of Bud- 
dhism and the subversion of Roman Catholicism. 

It may be explained that the Roman Catholics were 


singled out, not on account of any partiality for other forms 
of Christianity, but because they managed to make them- 
selves very unpopular; the reason will be understood later. 
This new secret society, said to number 70,000 adherents, 
with thousands joining it daily, was no doubt a branch of 
the Ih-hzvo-Ch'iian of the north. Incidentally it is well to 
mention that in Canton alone, during the two months pre- 
ceding the outbreak of hostilities, over 2000 executions 
took place of Chinese belonging to the Reform party, or 


who had pro-foreign tendencies. Hardly any member of 
the bond-fide Reform party is a Buddhist. They are mostly 
Confucianists, whereas the so-called Boxers are nearly all 

Knowing what I do know of Buddhist monks and their 
exclusiveness, their violent hatred for all and everything 
foreign — of which we have an instance in the Tibetan 
Lamas in their purely Buddhist country, the only land that 
has succeeded to this day in remaining forbidden to all 
strangers — I maintain that, no matter what other theories 
are brought forward regarding the present trouble in China, 
it cannot be better defined than as u fanatical Buddhist 
movement, mixed to a certain extent with Shamonism, 

The grasping dealings of European nations have also, 
no doubt, contributed indirectly to bring on a crisis which 
might otherwise have been delayed indefinitely. The orig- 
inal cause, however, is that given above. The fire, half 
smothered, was there all the time, and, had it not flared up 
at the instigation of foreign influence, would at some later 
day have flared up of its own accord, and very likely with 
consequences more terrible to Europeans. 

According to the natives, the movement in the north of 
China alone extended 330 miles on either side of Pekin. 

The Russians had considerable trouble in putting down 
riots in Manchuria, where hordes of Buddhist fanatics 
caused much uneasiness and some fighting even in Mouk- 
den, the capital. 

In the hermit kingdom of Corea, too, the movement 
spread, but only in the suburbs of towns, for the King, well 
knowing what mischief-brewers Buddhist priests are, has 
for many years past forbidden them to enter within the 
city wall of the capital and the principal cities. 


Kwang-Hsu's reform edicts — A Boxer proclamation — The Loo 
or Assembly halls — Boxers' distinguishing colours — How the 
Boxers were armed — Invulnerability — Occult powers — Boxer 
war song and initiation. 

Two years ago the Emperor Kwang-Hsu's reform edicts 
alarmed corrupt officials, whose rights of extortion over 
the superstitious and ignorant 
classes they to a certain extent 
limited. These edicts were prob- 
ably the principal cause that 
gave a sudden impetus to the 
present movement. The monks, 
who in former times had all over 
China brought about the assas- 
sination of hundreds of Catholic 
converts, were now taking ad- 
vantage of the opportunity and 
attempting a similar game on a 
more gigantic scale. 

Here is a Boxer Proclamation, 
a translation of which appeared 
in the Japan Mail: — 

" The Chinese Empire has 
been celebrated for its sacred 
teaching. It explained heavenly truth and taught human 



duties, and its civilising influence spread as an ornament 
over river and hill. 

" But all this has been changed in an unaccountable man- 
ner. For the past five or six generations bad officials have 
been in trust, bureaus have been opened for the sale of 
offices, and only those w^ho had money to pay for it have 
been allowed to hold positions in the Government. The 
^graduation of scholars has become useless, and members of 
the College of Literature and scholars of the Third Degree 
are in obscurity at home. An official position can only be 
obtained as the price of silver. The Emperor covets the 
riches of his ministers, these again extort from the lower 
ranks of the mandarinate, and the lower mandarins in turn 
(by the necessity of their position) must extort from the 
people. The whole populace is sunk in wretchedness, and 
all the officials are spoilers of their food. The condition of 
the Yamens is unspeakable. In every market and in every 
guild nothing can be done unless money be spent. The 
officials must be bribed. All sorts of exactions are made. 
These officials are full of schemes, none of which are in 
accordance with the three principles. Having forfeited 
their heaven-derived disposition, they are unreasonable and 
unregulated. They are all alike; ill-gotten wealth is their 
one object. Right has disappeared from the world. There 
is nothing but squabbling and extortion on all hands, and 
lawsuits are unnumbered. In the Yamens it is of no avail 
to have a clear case; unless you bribe you will lose the day. 
There is no one to whom the aggrieved may appeal; the 
simple multitudes are killed with oppression, and their cry 
goes up to heaven itself and is heard of God. Though spir- 
itual beings and sages were sent down to teach right prin- 
ciples, to issue good books, and to instruct the multitude, 


few, alas! heeded. Who is there that understands? The 
evil go on their course rejoicing, while the spiritual powers 
are conscious that their teaching has been vain. 

" Now in anger the heavenly powers are sending down 
multitudes of spirits to earth to make inquiry of all, both 
high and low. The Emperor himself, the chief offender, 
has had his succession cut off and is childless. The whole 
court, both civil and military, is in an unspeakable con- 
dition. They indulge blindly in mere amusement and dis- 
regard the widow's cry, repenting of nothing and learning 
nothing good. 

" Greater calamities still have overtaken the nation. 
Foreign devils come with their teaching, and converts to 
Christianity, Roman Catholic and Protestant, have become 
numerous. These (Churches) are without human relations, 
but, being most cunning, they have attracted all the greedy 
and covetous as converts, and to an unlimited degree they 
have practised oppression until every good official has been 
corrupted, and, covetous of foreign wealth, has become 
their servant. So telegraphs and railways have been estab- 
lished, foreign rifles and guns have been manufactured, and 
machine-shops have been a delight to their evil nature. 
Locomotives, balloons, electric lamps, the foreign devils 
think excellent. Though these foreigners ride in sedans 
unbefitting their rank, China yet regards them as bar- 
barians of whom God disapproves, and is sending down 
spirits and genii for their destruction. The first of these 
powers which has already descended is the Light of the 
Red Lamp, and the Volunteer Associated Fists, who will 
have a row with the devils. They will burn down the 
foreign buildings and restore the temples. Foreign goods 
of every kind they will destroy. They will extirpate the 



evil demons and establish right teaching — the honour of 
the spirits and the sages; they will cause to flourish their 
sacred teaching. The purpose of Heaven is fixed, a clean 
sweep is to be made. Within three years all will be ac- 
complished. The bad will not escape the net, and the 
goodness of God will be seen. The secrets of Heaven are 
not to be lightly disclosed, but the days of peace to come 

are not unknown. At least 
the Yiu Mao years (1902- 
1903). The song of the 
little ones ends here in a 
promise of happiness to 
men, the joy of escape 
from rapine. This last 
word is the summary of 

" Scholars and gentle- 
men must by no means 
esteem this a light and idle 
curse, and so disregard its 

The proclamations of 
the secret societies were 
couched in very plausible 
terms, and it is interesting 
to note how cunningly, while rousing the passion of the 
populace against all reforms, and while urging that foreign- 
ers should be driven out of the country, the leaders them- 
selves remained well under cover in their usual underhand 
way of procedure. " Restore the temples," they suggest, 
" . . . and establish right teaching." 

At the beginning of the outbreak in the north there sud- 



denly appeared swarms of these priests sneaking about in 
all foreign settlements, instigating servants to crime, and 
preaching the extermination of foreigners. In more peace- 
able times these ruffians were seldom to be seen in any 
foreign concession, for in any part of China these monks are 
allowed to demand three days' free board and lodging in 
any monastery, and they manage to obtain a similar priv- 
ilege in almost every native household, so they must have 
had some special reason for coming in such numbers into 
foreign settlements, where they got nothing without paying 
for it. t. 

In their Loo, or assembly-halls where their \k f^ 
meetings were held, the favourite hour for /QZ2__ 
the practice of the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan exercises 
was in the Tiger Watch (the third w^atch). These Loo were 
hearths or camps where the so-called Boxers assembled. 
The Empress-Dowager bestowed on these meeting-places 
the name of assembly-halls — a similar character in Chinese 
writing to the one applied to the meeting-places of Bud- 
dhist Lamas of Tibet and Mongolia. 

In small cities and villages these meetings w^ere carried 
on in the open air, and thousands of fanatics attended them. 
The Ih-hwo-Ch'uans' distinguishing colours were red and 
yellow, the two Buddhist colours. While fighting the 
members wore, according to rank, yellow or red girdles, 
garters, and turbans or caps. Some also wore a kind of 
insignia — a small apron, bright red in colour, and dipped 
in the blood of the man who owned it. On their great red 
banners — one of which I was lucky enough to secure — 
they had various inscriptions in black. One of their fa- 
vourite mottoes was : " Assist China to exterminate foreign- 
ers." Another, " Reverently, sincerely and heartily." 


In battle a number of the Boxers were armed with 
Mannlicher and Mauser rifles provided them by the Gov- 
ernment, but most of them used old-fashioned flintlocks, 
muzzle-loaders, spears, tridents, and single and two-handed 
swords with hilts bound in red cloth. 

They rushed wildly into the field, imbued with the idea, 
suggested to them by the monks, that he who fought for 
the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan was invulnerable. " Rifle or cannon 
bullets or pieces of shell," preached the monks, " may strike 
a Boxer in any part of his anatomy, but cannot penetrate 
the body of a sacred member of the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan. When 
hit, the bullet will bounce back without injuring him in the 
slightest degree." Nevertheless, while urging their satel- 
lites to go on bravely to the front under repeated assur- 
ances of being absolutely bullet-proof, the monks them- 
selves took good care to keep well in the rear or under 
cover. In fact, in most cases they cleared well out of bullet 
reach until the fight was over. This, they explained, was 
done, not from cowardice, but in order to pray for those 
who fought for their cause. 

At the attack on Tientsin city, after various incantations 
and sundry displays of occult powers, impressive to the 
minds of the ignorant and superstitious, these hordes of 
fanatics were let go against the foreign troops. They came 
running on like madmen, brandishing their swords, some 
with wild yells, others chanting the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan war 
song, the translation of which is as follows : — 

Strike towards heaven and its gates will be opened, 

(and here they raised the right arm and made pretence to 
strike the sky with their swords.) 

Strike towards the earth and its gates will give way ! 

"Strike toward Heaven, and its gates will be opened." 
"Strike Earth, and its gates will give way." 

STRIKE . . . 


(A hard stamp on the ground with the right foot followed 
these words.) 

You must practise the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan, 
For the leaders will soon appear. 

They rushed wildly forward, but, incantations or no in- 
cantations, the bullets of the Allies went through them all 


the same. The fact must have caused them some surprise. 
The machine guns did terrific execution, and the Japanese 
cavalry, dashing to and fro, left the field covered with dead 
and wounded. 

It is said that the survivors called the monks to ac- 
count for the heavy losses, but the priests had a ready 

"It is not our fault," said they. " Those men died be- 


cause they were not sufficiently initiated or because they 
did not have enough faith in our cause. Those that gave 
up all for the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan came out of the battle without 
a scratch." Here they pointed at the few — mighty few — 
that had come off the field, scared out of their wits, but 
still alive. 


A Boxer rhyme — A bit of prose — Roman Catholics and the 
Bbxers — Mistaken beliefs of the Boxers and their origin — 
Malieious placards — Buddhist priests and hypnotism — Mas- 
sacred Europeans — The magic mirror. 

An interesting rhyme was circulated among the members 
of the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan, and I give here an almost literal 
version in English : 

God assist the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan (Volunteer Unionists) 

The Volunteer United trained bands (Ih-hwo-t'uan). 

It is because the foreign devils disturb the Middle Kingdom, 

Urging the people to join their religion, 

To turn their backs to Heaven, 

Venerate not the gods and forget the ancestors. 

Men violate the human obligations, 

Women commit adultery. 

Foreign devils are not produced by mankind: 

If you doubt this, 

Look at them carefully. 

The eyes of all foreign devils are bluish. 

No rain falls. 

The earth is getting dry. 

This is because the Churches stop the heavens. 

The gods are angry. 

The genii are vexed ; 

Both are come down from the mountains 

To deliver the doctrine. 

This is not hearsay: 


The practice will not be in vain, 

To recite incantations and pronounce magic words, 

Burn up the yellow written prayers. 

Light the incense sticks. 

To invite the gods and genii of all the grottoes (halls). 

The gods will come out of the grottoes, 

The genii will come down from the mountains. 

And support the human bodies to practise the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan. 

When all the military accomplishments or tactics 

Are fully learned 

It will not be difficult to exterminate the foreign devils then; 

Push aside the railway tracks, 

Pull out the telegraph poles; 

Immediately after this destroy the steamers. 

The great France 

Will fall cold and down-hearted (be vanquished). 

The English and Russian will certainly disperse. 

Let the various foreign devils 

All be killed. 
May the whole elegant 
Empire of the great 
Ching dynasty be ever prosperous. 

This curious rhyme, in which the Chinese seemed con- 
fident of making short work of all the foreign devils, not 
only in China, but all over the world, is followed by a bit 
of prose quite as extraordinary to European minds, but 
absolutely in keeping with the ideas and beliefs of the ma- 
jority of uneducated Chinamen. 

" The relations and friends of all around notice recently 
that members of the Protestant and Roman Catholic re- 
ligions poison the wells with poisonous powder, and that 
all who drink the water leave their lungs and intestines 
rotten within eighteen days. Two men have been, arrested 
by us at Lin-li-Chuang, and we find they have down (hair) 
all over their bodies. They are silent when questioned and 
bold when tortured. Those who smell the poison will die 



immediately. You must be very cautious in drinking 
the water. 

'' Those who see this notice must make it known. It 
will avert calamity befalling the people. It must by all 
means be done." 


The causes of these beliefs among the Chinese are rather 
amusing to analyse. Any resident in China will tell you 
that these are merely a few of the more common opinions. 
The idea of the poison that kills when you smell it orig- 
inated from the presence of Chinamen in a mission hospital 
when chloroform was administered to a patient before an 

Roman Catholics have probably, though unconsciously, 
done more towards producing ill-feeling than any other 
missionaries in China, though it must be said for them, on 
the other hand, that they have also accomplished ten times 
more good than all the others taken together. Roman 
Catholic missionaries occupy an official position in the 

Vol.. I. — 2 


Heavenly Empire, and they often exert their rights by un- 
duly protecting their converts (not the best class of Chinese 
by far) to an extent that is somewhat vexatious to the non- 
Christian population. In Roman Catholic villages, for 
instance, all persons of other creeds are excluded, and the 
missionaries have not only the spiritual guidance of the 
community, but become absolute rulers. The converts 
cherish the belief that to pay the taxes to the nearest man- 
darin is about all required to make them good citizens, 
the priests taking care to protect them in case of any of- 
fence against the law of the country other than non-pay- 
ment of taxes. 

Again, the Catholic priests, with their fatherly love for 
their converts, constantly interfere in rows between their 
folks and neighbouring villages, or between their people 
and officials. This is a constant cause of friction. 

It is believed by the ignorant Chinese that the conse- 
crated wafer given by Roman Catholic priests in communi- 
cating converts has the magic power of taking away will 
from the person unwise enough to swallow it, and that by 
this means the priests get natives absolutely at their mercy. 
The holy water, too, the Chinese contend, is simply a magic 
medium by which those who dip their fingers into it, and 
who are not Christians, become possessed by demons. 

Moreover, the usual malicious stories were circulated in 
Boxers' placards of foreigners kidnapping children to turn 
them into soup or pound them into jelly, which, as a medi- 
cine, became endowed, after it had undergone the further 
process of drying in the sun, with marvellous strengthen- 
ing qualities. Foreign doctors were also accused of pluck- 
ing out the eyes of people unawares. Foreign devils, it was 
declared, then ground these eyes into dust and used them 



in their occult arts. Most of these absurd rumours were 
probably originated by natives who had seen surgical oper- 
ations performed in mission hospitals. The kidnapping 
of children was invariably the first 
accusation brought against foreigners, 
and whenever riots occurred against 
" white devils," the instigators ma- 
liciously did away with a number of 
little i,mfortunates, and then held for- 
eigners responsible for their disap- 
pearance. The Buddhist monks, 
however, in the Boxer movement, had 
devised a slight variation in this de- 
tail. They were very adept at hypno- 
tism, and availed themselves of this 
power to impress the masses. They 
hypnotised young boys, and then at 
night left them in a state of catalepsy 
in some thoroughfare. When a sufifi- 
cient crowd had collected around these 
insensible creatures, the monks duly 
appeared and pointed out " the actual proof of the evil do- 
ings of foreigners." The crowd having been worked into 
a state of frenzy, the boy, apparently dead, would be re- 
stored to life by the monks (they said " resuscitated "), and 
the bystanders would be thus further convinced that, what- 
ever devilry foreigners might perpetrate, Buddhist monks 
had always the power to make things good. 

It was this simple hypnotic expedient, carried on on a 
large scale, that induced Boxers to fling themselves in the 
field against modern rifles, under the belief that the Bud- 
dhist monks had made them bullet-proof. 



Naturally, those that have suffered most in the Boxer 
movement have been the native converts. Hundreds have 
been terribly tortured, burnt alive, massacred. Many 
Europeans, too, in the interior, have suffered atrocious 
tortures, such as the " death by the thousand cuts," and 
" the slow death." European women have suffered shame, 
and have eventually been impaled or beheaded. Their 
heads have been swung in cages, to serve as an example 
to others. 

In their hunt for native Christians, the Boxers adopted a 
singular mode of identifying them. Over the head of the 
unfortunate captive a magic mirror was held in which a 
cross (said the Boxers) was to be plainly reflected were the 
prisoner a Christian. As the magic mirror was made of 
silvered metal slightly convex, a luminous cross was invari- 
ably visible in a powerful light, so that the poor devils ar- 
rested on suspicion were always mercilessly put to death. 



Boxer wedding — Special god of the Boxers — Boxer altars — 
Incriminating documents in the Viceroy's yamen — Sacred edict 
issued by the Lord of Wealth and Happiness — A divine pre- 
scription—The real leader of the Boxers — His descent— The 
active leader of the Boxers and his influence over the fanatics 
— Political and religious movement. 

Following the Buddhist fashion, Boxers became married 
to their religion; in fact a Boxer, once initiated, occupied 
much the same position as a novice in a Buddhist monas- 

The special god of the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan society was the 
Buddhist god of war, the red-faced guardian of the west„ 
Kwai-fu-ize or Kzvan-ti, to be carefully distin- 
hl G guished from the second god of war, with a black 
\+ ^ countenance. The image of Kwai-fu-tze could be 
„ 'j^ seen in all its glory on all the Boxer altars, in their 

J J assembly-halls (Loo), in the residences of the 
principal leaders, and in Boxer camps. In Pekin 
the Manchus had erected Boxer altars in various 
places, and the Empress herself, when the Boxer move- 
ment was authorised and approved by her, ordered Boxer 
altars (which were nothing else but Buddhist) to be erected 
in her private apartment, as well as in other parts of the 
Imperial Palace. 



A curious thing in the Boxer movement was that, al- 
though inflammatory placards and bills had been posted 

/- V in Manchuria and Southern and 

Western China, comparatively few of 
these placards appeared in Tientsin 
city itself. Perhaps they were not 
needed, the majority of the popula- 
tion having joined the movement. 

Documents, as we shall see, were 
found in the Viceroy's Yamen, and 
showed too well how the Govern- 
ment provided these hordes with 
arms, ammunition, food, generous 
pensions to the wounded in battle, 
and ample rewards to the families 
of those that died in the field or in 
defending the city. 
Here is, nevertheless, the translation of a placard, 200,000 
copies of which are said to have been distributed in Tientsin 
native city on June 4. 
























" The Catholic and Protestant religions being insolent to 
the gods and extinguishing sanctity, rendering no obedi- 
ence to Buddhism and enraging both Heaven and earth, 
the rain-clouds no longer visit us; but 8,000.000 spirit sol- 
diers will descend from heaven and sweep the Empire clean 
of all foreigners. Then will the gentle showers once more 
water our lands, and when the tread of soldiers and the 
clash of steel are heard, heralding woes to all our people, 



then the Buddhists' Patriotic League of Boxers will be able 
to protect the Empire and bring peace to all its people. 

" Hasten, then, to spread this doctrine far and wide; for, 
if you gain one adherent to the faith, your own person will 
be absolved from all future misfortunes. If you gain five 
adherents to the faith, your w^hole family will be absolved 

GODS IN A llUliDllIS'l' TKMl'l.lC 

from all evils; and if you gain ten adherents to the faith, 
your whole village will be absolved from all calamities. 
Those who gain no adherents to the cause shall be decapi- 
tated, for, until all foreigners have been exterminated, the 
rain can never visit us. Those who have been so unfort- 
unate as to have drunk water from wells poisoned by 
foreigners should at once make use of the following divine 
prescription, the ingredients of which are to be decocted 



and swallowed, when the poisoned patient will re- 
cover : 

Dried black plums . . half an ounce. 

Solanum dulcamara . . half an ounce. 

Liquorice root . . . half an ounce." 

Everybody knows that the real leader of the Boxers was 

Prince Tuan, the Heir-Apparent's father, Minister and 

General in Command of the Pekin 

Field Force. According to some 

accounts, he actually sat for some 

time on the Imperial throne. The 

Chinese assert that he is not a 

member of the Imperial family at 

all. He is said to b'e the son of 

Prince Tun, the fifth son of the 

Emperor Tao-Kuang and uncle of 

the Emperor Kwang Hsu, but it is 

well known in Pekin that he is a 

mere morganatic son, his mother 

being a nurse in the Tun's family, 

and not of Imperial blood. It was 

nevertheless agreed with Prince 

Tun's wife that the baby (now 

Prince Tuan) should be adopted as 

her son, and he thus became a 

member of the Imperial family. He is a Manchu, and an 

unscrupulous intriguer of the very first order. 

The most active leader, after Prince Tuan, was a man 
of great influence, energy, and ability, a native Buddhist 
of Shensi, by name Li-Lai-Chung. His lieutenants and 
agents were the Buddhist monks, the Lamas, a lazy class 
of parasites, criminals who, by hiding under the cloak of 





religion, escaped from the claws of justice, and who were 
the riff-raff of the country. 

The principal agitators undoubtedly came from the 
north, but all alike met with protection and support, finan- 
cial and otherwise, from the corrupt class of oi^cials all 
over the Empire. 

It was thus that this religious and political movement 
for the extermination of foreigners and their influence as- 
sumed such alarming proportions. No doubt when that 
nest of immorality and disgraceful corruption, the Bud- 
dhist monks, have been wiped out, not only in China, but 
in all Asia, Western civilisation will have no dif^culty in 
penetrating to the remotest nooks of that immense con- 
tinent, and peace will be for ever assured. 


The official correspondence of Sir Claude MacDonald with 
Lord Salisbury* — The murder of Mr. Brooks — Useless repre- 
sentations to the Tsung-li-Yamen — Misrepresentations of the 
Chinese ambassador in London — The disturbed Shantung prov- 
ince — Danger of missionaries — Details of Brooks's murder — 
The British Minister's apologies for Chinese murderers — The 
natural result of travelling in a wheelbarrow — Yu-H'sien, Gov- 
ernor of Shantung — The Boxer movement spreading — Serious 
trouble expected — A naval demonstration in North Chinese 
waters deemed advisable — The French Minister the only one 

It was probably with the murder of Mr. Brooks near the 
town of Fei-ch'eng, in Shantung province, where he was 
travelHng, that the work of the anti-foreign movement in 
China came for the first time under the notice of the British 
Minister in Pekin. In a telegraphic despatch to the Mar- 
quis of Salisbury, dated January 4, 1900, he reported the 
murder as having been perpetrated by a band of anti- 
foreign rebels, and added that " the part of China where the 
murder took place is very disturbed, and I and my French, 
American, and German colleagues have been making strong 
representations " (to the Tsung-li-Yamen). 

These " strong representations," however, were treated 

* Correspondence respecting the Insurrectionary Movement in China. 
H.M.'s Stationery Office (Harrison & Sons). 



in the usual Chinese fashion. A message of regret from 
the Empress Dowager and Emperor, and a cleverly-worded 
letter from Sir Chihchen Lofen- 
gluh (Chinese Ambassador in 
London), in which he misrep- 
resented the assassins of the Eng- 
lish missionary as " brigands," 
whereas they were members of 
the , Ih-hwo-Ch'uan, or Boxer 
society for the extirpation of 
foreigners in China. As usual, 
the empty words " No efforts will 
be spared to bring the parties 
concerned in the murder to con- 
dign punishment " closed the let- 
ter of the Chinese Ambassador. 

Sir Claude MacDonald, writ- 
ing from Pekin on January 5, 
informed the Government for 
the first time that the northern 

part of Shantung had for several months been disturbed by 
bands of rebels connected with various secret societies, 
which had been defying the authorities and pillaging the 
people. '' An organisation known as the Boxers," he wrote 
to Lord Salisbury, " has attained special notoriety, and 
their ravages recently spread over a large portion of South- 
ern Chili, where the native Christians appear to have suf- 
fered, even more than the rest of the inhabitants, from the 
lawlessness of these marauders. The danger to which, in 
both provinces, foreign missionary establishments have 
thus been exposed has been the subject of repeated repre- 
sentations to the Chinese Government by other foreign 



Representatives, especially by the German and United 
States Ministers and myself." 

He reports, by the way as it were, full particulars of Mr. 
Brooks's murder on December 31, the day after his capture, 
by thirty Boxers, and how the unfortunate man, having 
been tied and wounded, had subsequently been beheaded 
and his body flung into a ditch. He goes on to say that 
be has " taken occasion to remind the Yamen Ministers 
that there were other British missionaries in the district 
where Mr. Brooks was killed, and to impress upon their 
Excellencies the necessity of securing sufficient protection 
to these. I do not, however, entertain serious apprehen- 
sions as to their safety, because guards of soldiers have been 
for some time past stationed to protect the various mis- 
sionary residences." 

Eventually Sir Claude ends his letter, in a kind of apolo- 
getic way for the Chinese murderers, by saying that the 
" unfortunate man [Mr. Brooks] who was murdered was 
seized when he was travelling by wheelbarrow, without 
escort, through the country infested by rebels." 

Why did Sir Claude omit to mention that such means of 
travel are those of all people of moderate wealth in that 
country, and possibly in some parts the only way by which 
one can travel at all? In fact, if Mr. Brooks travelled in a 
wheelbarrow it was, in all probability, chiefly in order to 
attract less notice and give no offence to the natives. Sir 
Claude, however, seemed so much flattered at having re- 
ceived a visit from the Ministers of the Tsung-li- Yamen 
and other high officials that he accepted wholesale the fine 
promises and assurances of the Chinese. 

Early in December 1899 Yu-H'sien, Governor of Shan- 
tung, was ordered to vacate his post, and General Yuan- 


Shih-K'ai was appointed in his place. The General was 
said to have pro-foreign tendencies, and was at the head 
of the foreign-drilled troops, of which he had some eight 
thousand men. 

He naturally arrived too late to save Mr. Brooks, whom 
he regretted to report murdered by red-turbaned Boxers 
at Mao-chia-pu, to which place they had led him. He also 
reported that rebels had collected and made disturbances 
in tljie two districts of P'ing Yin and Fei-Ch'eng, in 

Telegraphing to Lord Salisbury on March 10, Sir Claude 
MacDonald laid great stress on the spreading of the Boxer 
disturbances and on the enlisting of recruits, whose drilling 
was proceeding in the environs of Pekin and Tientsin, not- 
withstanding the fact that he (Sir Claude) and his Ameri- 
can, French, German and Italian colleagues had, on January 
2^ and February 27, addressed a report to the Tsung-li- 
Yamen, and had urged that an Imperial decree should be 
published declaring the suppression of the two anti-foreign 
secret societies that were causing disturbances in Shantung 
and Chili. On March 2 the five Representatives paid a 
personal visit to the Yamen, but the Ministers declined to 
publish the decree. 

What more proof could have been given that the Gov- 
ernment was, even at that time, protecting and encouraging 
the Boxer movement? for, if not, what plausible reason 
could there be for not suppressing a rebellious agitation 
which, besides pillaging and destroying the property of 
Christians and non-Christians alike, would in all probability 
soon lead the Chinese Emperor into war with all European 

Sir Claude, apparently concerned at the serious turn af- 



fairs were taking, recommended that, in case the Chinese 
Government still refused to publish the decree asked for, 
and in case the state of affairs did not materially improve, 
a few ships of war of each nationality should make a naval 
demonstration in North Chinese waters. Identical recom- 
mendations, he telegraphed, were cabled home by his four 

colleagues, viz., 
the American, 
French, German 
and Italian Repre- 
sentatives. Natu- 
rally enough, Lord 
Salisbury and the 
Home Govern- 
ment, who had un- 
til that time been 
led to believe that 
there was nothing 
to fear from the 
Boxers, duly 
cabled back on March 1 1 : "It will be desirable to resort 
to naval action only when other means of pressure are 

Other nations (America excepted) viewed the situation 
in a different light. The French Minister of Foreign Af- 
fairs, interviewed by Sir E. Monson (British Ambassador in 
Paris), did not, on opening the despatch, hesitate for a 
moment to express his opinion that if the Pekin Ministers 
had all agreed in telegraphing so strongly, the affair must 
be urgent, and that the French Government could not 
properly refuse to authorise the naval demonstration in 
order to protect its own subjects. 



This attitude was apparently viewed with jealousy and 
concern by the Anglo-Saxon Governments, for repeated 
representations were made on behalf of the British Govern- 
ment to M. Delcasse, the French Minister of Foreign Af- 
fairs, in order to make him clearly understand that neither 
England nor the United States of America would associate 
themselves with any such action, and that they would 
severally protect their respective subjects. In fact, Sir E. 
Monson went out of his way to show his gladness when 
he was informed that France would wait for more precise 
information before acting. 


Anti-foreign Yu-H'sien appointed Governor of Shansi — A slap 
in the face for England and America — An alarming telegram — 
Imperial decree satisfactory as far as it went, in Sir Claude 
MacDonald's opinion — The decree. 

Another slap in the face from the Chinese was reported 
on March 15, when the late Governor of Shantung, Yu- 
H'sien — who was the main instigator of the outrages in that 
province, concerning whom the United States Minister had 
formally demanded that he should never be re-employed, 
and upon whose punishment for the murder of Mr. Brooks 
the British Minister had insisted — was with great pomp 
appointed Governor of Shansi. 

If a man of the stamp of Sir Harry Parkes, instead of one 
of the stamp of Sir Claude MacDonald, had been in Pekin 
at this juncture, he might have thought that the time had 
come to set his foot firmly down and seriously to demand 
what the Chinese Government meant by this open encour- 
agement of the anti-foreign movement. Sir Claude, how- 
ever, seemed satisfied to let the Chinese temporise, and 
accepted their usual far-fetched excuses as plausible. 

The telegram of the missionaries from P'ing Yin and T'ai 
An: " Outlook very black, daily marauding; constant dan- 
ger; edict suppressing (Boxers) published; troops present 




but useless; officials' complete inaction, T'ai An prefect 
blocks; secret orders from Throne to encourage," was rep- 
resented by Sir Claude as exaggerated, notwithstanding 
that every non-official person in China knew it to be but too 

Sir Claude asked the Yamen Ministers to telegraph to 
the new Governor, Yuan, 
that he had called at the 
Yamen that day (January 
ii) to complain of the 
conduct of the prefect, 
T'ai An. 

A wonderful feat of 
strength of character, 
equalled by the following 
threat, which Sir Claude 
MacDonald no doubt be- 
lieved made the Chinese tremble in their shoes, whereas 
they, more likely, smiled behind his back. 

'' I requested," he writes, " that my words might be care- 
fully recorded for submission to the Throne . . ." and 
continues : " Whether these negotiations take a friendly line 
or the reverse depends entirely on the behaviour of the local 
authorities, and the manner in which they carry out the 
commands of the Emperor as expressed in the edict." 

The Imperial decree, so much desired, was at last issued, 
and was approved by Sir Claude, who reported it to be 
" satisfactory as far as it went." 

It is sufficient to read the edict itself to be aghast at the 
attitude of our Representative in Pekin. Never was a 
more openly revolutionary and inflammatory decree pub- 
lished in more hypocritical words. Sir Claude does not ap- 
VoL. I.— 3 


pear to have seen through the veil. He innocently hints, 
in a letter to Lord Salisbury, that the decree is regarded in 
some quarters with misgivings, but he had not thought it 
expedient as yet to make any remarks on the subject to the 

In justice to Sir Claude MacDonald, and to prove my 
words, it will be well to give the Imperial decree itself, 
.dated January ii, 1900: 

[Translation'] : 

" Of late in all the provinces brigandage has been daily 
more prevalent, and missionary cases have recurred with 
frequency. Most critics point to seditious societies as the 
cause, and ask for vigorous suppression and punishment 
of these. But reflection shows that societies are of dififerent 
kinds. When worthless vagabonds form themselves into 
bands and sworn confederacies, and, relying on their num- 
bers, create disturbances, the law can show absolutely no 
leniency to them. On the other hand, when peaceful and 
law-abiding people practise their skill in mechanical arts for 
the preservation of themselves and their families, or when 
they combine in village communities for the mutual pro- 
tection of their rural population, this is in accordance with 
the public-spirited principle (enjoined by Mencius) of 
* keeping mutual watch and giving mutual help.' * 

" Some local authorities, when a case arises, do not re- 
. gard this distinction, but, listening to false and idle rumours, 
regard all alike as seditious societies, and involve all in one 
indiscriminate slaughter. The result is that, no distinction 
being made between the good and the evil, men's minds 
are thrown into fear and doubt. This is, indeed, ' adding 

* The italics are my own. 


fuel to stop a fire,' ' driving fish to the deep part of the 
pool to catch them.' It means, not that the people are 
disorderly, but that the administration is bad. 

" The profound compassion and favour of our dynasty 
have blessed the country for over two hundred years; the 
people eat our produce and tread our soil; they have natural 
goodness implanted in them; how can they of their own 
free will come to adopt bandit ways, and bring down pun- 
ishment upon themselves? 

'' The essential thing is that the Viceroys and Governors 
of the provinces should select officers worthy of confidence, 
who should rule their districts well, and give rest to their 
people. When litigation arises between converts and peo- 
ple, it should be dealt with according to justice, without the 
slightest partiality for either side. Such conduct serves as 
a matter of course to fulfil the people's trustful hopes and 
to quiet popular feeling in time of trouble, changing serious 
affairs to trifles, and causing trifling ones to disappear. 
The stability of the country's institutions, and the consoli- 
dation of international relations, alike depend on this. 

" The Viceroys and Governors of the provinces have re- 
ceived the fullest and weightiest marks of our favour. If 
they offer their united services in these critical times, they 
must be able to carry into effect the determination of the 
Throne to treat the matter with paternal kindness, and to 
regard all men with equal benevolence. Let them give 
strict orders to the local authorities that in dealing with 
cases of this kind they should only inquire whether so-and- 
so is or is not guilty of rebellion, whether he has or has not 
stirred up strife, and should not consider whether he belong 
to a society or not, whether he is or is not an adherent of a 


" As for our common people, let them give thought to 
the protection and security of their native places, their per- 
sons and their homes. Let them nofgive ear to those who 
would unsettle their minds, and so bring upon themselves 
calamities and military operations. Nor let them on the 
other hand presume upon influence and authority to op- 
pose their fellow villagers. 

" It is our earnest hope that in this way the hamlets will 
be at peace, and that thus we may be relieved of our anxious 
care by day and night. 

" Let this decree be published abroad." 

It is not difficult, even for one not versed in Chinese af- 
fairs, to read plainly between the lines of this hypocritical 
decree, and to see by many of its allusions that, far from 
being a decree to spread peace and quiet among the masses, 
this was an inflammatory placard spread abroad to instigate 
citizens against foreigners. In fact, it begins by showing 
the Imperial approval of " the law-abiding people who 
practise their skill in mechanical arts for their self-preserva- 
tion," &c. These people were merely the Boxers, and their 
mechanical arts the manufacture of spears, swords and 
guns. It even goes so far as admonishing them to keep 
mutual watch and give mutual help. 

It is curious that our Minister should approve of such a 
decree as satisfactory, even " as far as it went." Indeed, it 
would seem sufficiently plain that the publication of such a 
decree could only produce an efifect contrary to that of the 
decree demanded of the Emperor by the foreign Ministers, 
and by Sir Claude MacDonald in particular. But possibly 
Sir Claude was a person easily pleased. 

(From a Chinese painting) 


The Boxer movement spreads in the Chili province — Ships re- 
quested to proceed to Taku — Brooks's murderers punished and 
compensation paid — The request to suppress the Boxer and 
Big Sword societies — The special Imperial audience regarding 
the succession to the Throne — The young Prince Yu-Chun 
elected heir — His tutors — Decree by the Emperor's own pen. 

Meanwhile Boxer disturbances spread in the neighbour- 
ing province of Chili, and Christian converts were being 
persecuted by them in such a cruel manner that his Excel- 
lency the British Minister paid " a personal visit to the 
Viceroy at Tientsin," which visit, in his own estimation and 
words, he " believed would put a stop to a state of affairs 
which, if allowed to continue, would lead to the gravest 

The same petty excuses, the same promises for future 
punishment of evil-doers, again satisfied the Minister, who 
writes (January 19) that " the Viceroy is very earnest in his 
desire to restore order and punish the evil-doers." 

As regards the spread of the Boxer movement in the 
Chili province, he seems to discover that " the state of af- 
fairs is improving, and the local officials are acting with 
commendable energy." 

What did other foreign Governments do in the mean- 
time? The German Minister was allowed the use of the 


entire squadron at Kiao-Chau, the Italian the disposal of 
two men-of-war, and the United States one ship to proceed 
at once to Taku. Sir Claude at this point " respectfully 
requests that two of her Majesty's ships be sent to Taku." 

The two ships Hermione and Brisk were ordered to Taku 
on March 25. 

The murderers of Brooks — five of them — were found 

•I » ' 



guilty after a four days' trial before Consul Campbell and 
two missionaries. 

" One of the convicted," writes Sir Claude, on March 29, 
" was shown to have beheaded and killed (sic) the victim, 
while the other four were accessories." Two of the pris- 
oners were sentenced to death, the third to imprisonment 
for life, another to imprisonment for ten years, and the fifth 
to banishment. 

A sum of 7,500 taels was paid for the cost of building a 
memorial chapel, 1,500 taels for a memorial at the college 
of Canterbury, to which Brooks belonged, and 500 taels 
for the erection of a tablet on the scene of the murder. 


Fei Ch'eng, the magistrate in whose district the murder 
was committed, was dismissed and denounced to the 
Throne, but the Yamen refused to punish the two neigh- 
bouring magistrates, who were equally culpable. Sir 
Claude, very wisely this time, recommended that Yu 
H'sien, the late Governor of the province (newly appointed 
Governor of Shansi) — the principal culprit, should be the 
first to be punished, before minor officials. He therefore 
declared the trial unsatisfactory. 

As was to be expected, the Imperial decree of July 11 
soon bore fruit. The Tsung-li-Yamen was asked to issue 
another decree suppressing the offending societies by name, 
viz. : " The Fist of Righteous Harmony " and the " Big 
Sword Society." 

Hereunder is the note addressed by the American, Brit- 
ish, French, German and Italian Ministers to the Tsung-li- 
Yamen : 

Pekin, January 27, 1900. 


" Within the last few weeks I have had occasion to 
address your Highness and your Excellencies, both by let- 
ter and personally, with regard to the deplorable state of 
afifairs which exists in northern Shantung and in the centre 
and south of Chili. 

" This state of afifairs, which is a disgrace to any civilised 
country, has been brought about by the riotous and lawless 
behaviour of certain ruffians who have banded themselves 
together into two societies, termed respectively the ' Fist 
of Righteous Harmony ' and the ' Big Sword Society,' and 
by the apathy and, in some instances, actual connivance and 
encouragement of these societies by the local officials. 

" The members of these societies go about pillaging the 


homes of Christian converts, breaking down their chapels, 
robbing and ill-treating inoffensive women and children, 
and it is a fact, to which I would draw the special attention 
of your Highness and your Excellencies, that on the ban- 
ners which are carried by these riotous and lawless people 
are inscribed the words ' Exterminate the foreigners.' 

" On January 1 1 an Imperial decree was issued drawing 
'a distinction between good and bad societies. The word- 
ing of this decree has unfortunately given rise to a wide- 
spread impression that such associations as the ' Fist of 
Righteous Harmony ' and the ' Big Sword Society ' are re- 
garded with favour by the Chinese Government, and their 
members have openly expressed their gratification and have 
been encouraged by the decree to continue to carry on 
their outrages against the Christian converts. 

" I cannot for a moment suppose that such was the in- 
tention of this decree. These societies are, as I have 
shown, of a most pernicious and rebellious character. 

" I earnestly beg to draw the serious attention of the 
Throne to the circumstances above described. The dis- 
orders have not reached such a stage that they cannot be 
stamped out by prompt and energetic action; but if such 
action be not immediately taken the rioters will be encour- 
aged to think they have the support of the Government, 
and proceed to graver crimes, thereby seriously endanger- 
ing international relations. 

" As a preliminary measure, and one to which I attach 
the greatest importance, I have to beg that an Imperial 
decree be published and promulgated, ordering by name 
the complete suppression and abolition of the ' Fist of 
Righteous Harmony ' and the ' Big Sword ' societies, and 
I request that it may be distinctly stated in the decree that 


to belong to either of these societies, or to harbour any of 
its members, is a criminal offence against the laws of China. 

" I avail/' &c. 

A special audience of all high metropolitan officials was 
summoned in the Palace on January 24, to consider the 
succession to the Throne. The Empress-Dowager, at the 
request of the Emperor, who, owing to ill-health, could 
have no children of his own, had appointed young Prince 
Pu-Chun, a grandson of Prince Tun, the fifth son of the 
Emperor whose reign was styled Tao-Kuang (1821-51) 
(son of Tsai Yi, Prince Tuan, the present leader of the Box- 
ers), He is first cousin once removed of the present Em- 
peror, and is fourteen years old. An Imperial decree in 
the Pekin Gazette directed that he should represent the Em- 
peror at the ceremonies of the New Year (January 31) in 
the three Palace halls. And two further decrees appointed 
Ch'ung-Yi (a Manchu) and Hsu Tung (a Chinese banner- 
man) as tutors to superintend his education. 

Both these tutors are well known for their hatred of 
foreigners and foreign customs. Prince Ch'ung (President 
of the Tsung-li-Yamen) together with a Mongol prince 
called Na, was, on January 27, nominated mita* or super- 
visor of the prince's household. 

In the Pekin Gazette of January 24, 1900, was published 
the following Imperial decree from the Emperor's own pen : 

[ Translation] : 

" When, at a tender age, we entered into the succession 
to the Throne, her Majesty the Empress-Dowager gra- 
ciously undertook the rule of the country as Regent, taught 

* Manchu word = supervisor of children. 


and guided us with diligence, and managed all things, great 
and small, with unremitting care until we ourself assumed 
the government. Thereafter the times again became crit- 
ical. We bent all our thoughts and energies to the task of 
ruling rightly, striving to requite her Majesty's loving kind- 
ness, that so we might fulfil the weighty duties entrusted 
to us by the late Emperor Mu Tsung Yi (T'ung Chih). 
, " But since last year we have suffered from ill-health, 
affairs of State have increased in magnitude and perplexity, 
and we have lived in constant dread of going wrong. 

" Reflecting on the supreme importance of the worship 
of our ancestors and of the spirits of the land, we therefore 
implored the Empress-Dowager to advise us in the gov- 
ernment. This was more than a year ago, but we have 
never been restored to health, and we have not the strength 
to perform in person the great sacrifices at the altar of 
Heaven and in the temples of the spirits of the land. 

" And now the times are full of difficulties. We see her 
gracious Majesty's anxious toil by day and by night, never 
laid aside for rest or leisure, and with troubled mind we 
examine ourself, taking no comfort in sleep or food, but 
ever dwelling in thought on the labours of our ancestors 
in founding the dynasty, and ever fearful lest our strength 
be not equal to our task. 

" Moreover, we call to mind how, when we first suc- 
ceeded to the Throne, we reverently received the Empress- 
Dowager's decree that as soon as a Prince should be born 
to us he should become the heir by adoption to the late 
Emperor Mu Tsung Yi (T'ung Chih). This is known to 
all the officials and people throughout the Empire. 

" But we suffer from an incurable disease, and it is im- 
possible for us to beget a son, so that the Emperor Mu 


Tsung Yi has no posterity, and the consequences to the 
Hnes of succession are of the utmost gravity. Sorrowfully 
thinking on this, and feeling that there is no place to hide 
ourself for shame, how can we look forward to recovery 
from all our ailments? 

" We have therefore humbly implored her Sacred Maj- 
esty carefully to select from among the near branches of 
our family a good and worthy member, who should found 
a line of posterity for the Emperor Mu Tsung Yi (T'ung 
Chih), and to whom the Throne should revert hereafter. 
After repeated entreaties, her Majesty has now deigned to 
grant her consent that P'u Chun, son of Tsai Yi, Prince 
Tuan, should be adopted as the son of the late Emperor 
Mu Tsung Yi (T'ung Chih). We have received her 
Majesty's decree with unspeakable joy, and in reverent 
obedience to her gracious instruction we appoint P'u Chun, 
son of Tsai Yi, as Imperial Prince, to carry on the dynastic 

" Let this decree be made known to all men." 


The difficulty in obtaining the publication of an Imperial edict 
in the Pekin Gazette — Temporising — An important and stormy 
meeting at the Yamen — Absence of the Russian Minister — 
Baron von Ketteler's accusations and merriment of the Yamen 
Ministers — Excuses — An international naval demonstration 
deemed necessary — Yu H'sien's appointment — A flat refusal. 

Lord Salisbury, echoing Sir Claude MacDonald's in- 
formation, duly informed Sir Chihchen Lofengluh, in an- 
swer to a communication from him, that the settlement of 
the Brooks case could not be considered as wholly 

The representations made to the Yamen on January 27 
by Sir Claude, as well as by the American, French, German, 
and Italian Ministers, asking for a decree specifically de- 
nouncing the anti-Christian societies in Shantung and Chili, 
received at first no answer, but upon a further demand on 
February 21, the Legations concerned received a note from 
the Yamen stating that a decree had been issued ordering 
the Governors of the two provinces to put an end to the 

Sir Claude and the other four Ministers further insisted 
that the decree must be published in the Pekin Gazette, and 
that it must not only suppress the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan Society, 
but also the Big Sword Society, a demand which the Yamen 


did not seem at all willing to satisfy. They, as usual, tem- 
porised, but eventually framed the proclamation of the 
Governor-General of Chili, the terms of which strictly pro- 
hibited the Boxer movement. It said, among other things : 
'' The converts and the ordinary people are all the subjects 
of the throne, and are regarded by the Government w^ith 
impartial benevolence. No distinction is made between 


them. Should they have lawsuits they must bow to the 
judgments of the ©facials. The ordinary people must not 
give way to rage, and by violent acts create feuds and 
trouble. The converts, on the other hand, must not stir 
up strife and oppress the people, or incite the missionaries 
to screen them and help them to obtain the upper hand. 

*' Those so-styled professors w ho practise boxing, and 
play with clubs, and teach people their arts, those also who 
learn from these men, and those who march about and 
parade the villages and marts, flourishing tridents, and 
playing with sticks, hoodwinking the populace to make a 


profit for themselves, are strictly forbidden to carry on such 
practices. Should any disobey, on arrest the principals will 
receive a hundred blows with a heavy bamboo and be ban- 
ished to a distance of a thousand miles. The pupils will 
receive the same beating and be banished to another prov- 
ince for three years, and on expiration of that period 
and return to their native place be subjected to strict 

" Should any inn, temple, or house harbour these people 
without report to the officials, or should the poHce and oth- 
ers not search them out and arrest them, the delinquents 
will be sentenced to eighty blows with the heavy bamboo 
for improper conduct in the higher degree." 

Sir Claude now very properly pressed to have this decree 
published in the Pekm Gazette, and eventually a meeting 
took place on March 2 at the Yamen, where Prince Ch'ang 
Wang, Wen-Shao, Chao Shu-ch'iao, Hsu-Jung-I, Hsu 
Ching-ch'eng, Wu T'ing-fen, Knei-Ch'un, and Lien Yuan 
received Sir Claude MacDonald, accompanied by Mr. Ker 
and Mr. Fulford, Mr. Conger (United States Minister), 
with Mr. Cheshire, Baron von Ketteler (German Minister), 
with Baron von der Goltz; Marquis Salvago (Italian Min- 
ister), with Dr. Merklinghaus, Baron d'Anthouard (French 
charge d'affaires), with M. Morisse. 

It will be noted that the Russian Minister was not 

Sir Claude recapitulated the circumstances regarding the 
two secret societies, and the Imperial decree published on 
January 11, which had spread the impression that the 
Throne recognised the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan and the Ta Tao 
Hwo, and stated that the Representatives of the Powers 
were present further to request the publication of a decree 


suppressing by name the two societies in the Pekin Gazette. 
Nothing short of this would satisfy them. 

Baron von Ketteler pointed out that in the decree already 
communicated to the Representatives, the omission of the 
Ta Tao Hwo (society) had been made, and that the head of 
the society was then in Pekin, where he had received a 
special mark of favour from the Throne, instead of being 
sent, as he should have been, to the Board of Punishments. 
This man was the ex-Governor of Shantung, Yu H'sien, 
whom, with his society, the Baron again denounced. 

This statement was received with '' undisguised merri- 
ment " by the Prince and Ministers, who nevertheless had 
to admit that Yu H'sien was to blame for not suppressing 
the disturbances. He was further accused of inspiring the 
original edict that had caused so much trouble, an idea 
which the Yamen pronounced entirely erroneous. 

Explanations and excuses were attempted by the Yamen 
in order to evade the publication of the further decree. 
This was probably to '* save their face " — an ever-important 
question with Celestials. 

As a matter of fact, they barefacedly declared that the 
Yamen's memorial did mention the Ta Tao Hwo (Big 
Sword Society), for this had now amalgamated with the 
Ih-hwo-ch'uan, and therefore was included in the denuncia- 
tion of the latter society ! 

Baron d'Anthouard complained that no protection was 
afforded to missionaries in Chili and Shantung, and said 
that he now wanted deeds and not mere words to reassure 
him. The Yamen, as usual, said they would consider the 
matter and reply. Identical notes were handed in by all 
the Representatives present. 

The Boxers in the meantime were fast and openly re- 


cruiting and drilling in both disturbed provinces, and even 
in the neighbourhood of Tientsin and Pekin. Of this Sir 
Claude was fully aware, and, alive to the sense of danger, 
recommended to his Government an international naval 
demonstration in the waters of North China. He watched 
with evident concern the peculiar attitude of the Chinese 
Government — who seemed to take no notice whatever of 
the representations and threats made. In fact, a deliberate 
snub from the Chinese Government had to be supported in 
the appointment of Yu-H'sien as Governor of Shansi. 

"Altogether," pointed out Sir Claude MacDonald to 
Lord Salisbury on March i6, " Yu's appointment to even 
so important a post cannot fail to be regarded as showing 
an extraordinary lack of consideration on the part of the 
Chinese Government for the opinions and representations 
of foreign Powers." 

The Yamen at this point seem to have taken a more 
determined course of aggression and bluff towards the 
foreign Ministers, mixed, of course, with the customary 
hypocrisy and falsehood. They flatly refused to publish 
in the Pekin Gazette the Imperial decree, as requested by 
the foreign Powers. Their plea was that it was a T'ing-chi 
(message from the Throne), and not a Shang-Yu, or Im- 
perial decree. The rule, they stated, is that a special 
Imperial message is not delivered to the Grand Secretariat 
for publication in the Gazette. " This was an established 
rule of public business in China, which it was impossible to 


A crisis approaching — Destruction of villages and mission- 
houses by the Boxers — Roman Catholic missionaries killed — A 
marine guard retained in Tientsin — Troubles in Kung-tsun — 
A meeting of the foreign Ministers in Pekin — Their disinclina- 
tion to bring up guards — Rain better than Maxim guns — Sham 
displays of the Chinese to suppress the insurgents — Baron von 
Ketteler suspicious of the Chinese Government's promises — 
Guards to be sent for to protect the Legations. 

Towards the middle of May a crisis was fast approaching. 

Much disorder prevailed around Pekin and Tientsin. The 

Boxers destroyed 

three villages, kill- 

i n g 6 I Roman 

Catholic converts, 

some 90 miles 

from Pekin, near 


This was re- 
ported to the Gov- 
ernment on May 
17 by Sir Claude, 

who on the same date requested the Admiral to retain 
the marine guard which was under orders to leave 


Vol. I.— 4 



On May i8 Sir Claude further telegraphed that the 
Boxers had destroyed the London Mission Chapel at 
Kung-tsun and killed the Chinese preacher. Kung-tsun 
is 40 miles south-west of Pekin. On the same day Sir 
Claude called at the Yamen to complain of the apathy of 
the Chinese Government. He was curtly informed that 
the previous day an Imperial decree had been issued 
whereby specified metropolitan and provincial authorities 
were directed to suppress the Boxers. 

Although the Yamen believed this decree would be 
sufficient to pacify the crowds, rumours were current that 
French and British missionaries were in great danger at 

The Yamen maliciously went out of their way to lead 
Sir Claude to believe that the disturbance was mostly caused 
by the importation of arms by the French Consul. 

Matters were coming to such a point that the eleven Rep- 
resentatives of foreign nations held a meeting in Pekin on 
May 20 at the instance of the French Minister. The doyen 
was empowered to write a note to the Yamen, in the name 
of all foreign Representatives, demanding that, as a sequel 
to the decrees already issued suppressing the Boxer move- 
ment, all individuals who should publish or disseminate 
placards, or should aid or harbour Boxers, should be ar- 
rested, while those guilty of arson, murder, or outrages, 
and their accomplices, should be executed. It was further- 
more demanded that a decree to the above effect should be 
published in Pekin and the north provinces. It was 
resolved that if the disturbances continued, and if a favour- 
able answer was not received within five days, further 
measures should be taken. 

" The meeting," telegraphed Sir Claude, " did not decide 


what measures should be taken, but the Representatives 
were generally averse to bringing guards to Pekin, and 
what found most favour was as follows: 

" With the exception of Holland, which has no ships 
in Chinese waters, it was proposed that all the maritime 
Powers represented should make a naval demonstration, 
either at Shan-hai-kwan or at the new port, Ching-wang- 
tao, while in case of necessity guards were to be held ready 
on board ship. 

" My colleagues will, I think, send these proposals as 
they stand to their Governments. As the Chinese Govern- 
ment themselves seem to be sufficiently alarmed, / do not 
think that the above means will be necessary, but should the 
occasion arise I trust that her Majesty's Government will 
see fit to support it." 

This extraordinary advice on the part of the British Min- 
ister was telegraphed as late as May 21, and seemed some- 
what in contrast to the alarming news which Sir Claude 
had been previously sending. There was at that date hardly 
a foreigner in China who was not aware of the terrible storm 
which was threatening, yet our Minister seemed to think 
that the Chinese being " sufficiently alarmed " was an 
ample guarantee for the safety of foreigners and their 
property ! 

The Russian Minister appears to have had an interview 
with Sir Claude, in which he stated that only two countries 
have very serious interests in China — viz., England and 
Russia. He admitted that matters were grave, and at once 
agreed to the joint note of the Powers. 

The British Government, on May 22, agreed to support 
their Minister in case of emergency. It was none too 


Sham displays were made by the Chinese of sending 
troops to suppress the Boxers, and the soldiers and officers 
were captured by the insurgents — probably a prearranged 
afifair. When other parties were sent out with severe in- 
structions, they were in such small numbers as to be easily 
defeated by the Boxers. 

The French Minister, it must be said to his credit, was 
almost the only one of the foreign Representatives in Pekin 
who had reliable information and attached the right impor- 
tance to it, while others discarded and treated with con- 
tempt the warnings of men who, though not holding official 
positions, nevertheless knew China and the Chinese inti- 
mately. M. Pichon, in fact, predicted a serious outbreak, 
which would endanger the lives, not only of missionaries, 
but of all foreigners, even in Pekin. The Italian Minister, 
too, who derived his information from similar sound 
sources, confirmed the French Minister's prediction. 

The French Minister urged, at a meeting of the diplo- 
matic corps, that unless the Chinese took immediate action, 
guards should be sent for at once, before it became too late. 
Unnecessary civility and patience were nevertheless shown 
towards the Celestials, who naturally misconstrued this 
conduct, which they attributed to weakness, and a further 
demand was formulated to the Yamen, asking for a precise 
statement of the measures taken by the Chinese Govern- 
ment to suppress the movement, and again requesting an 
Imperial edict. 

Baron von Ketteler, the German Minister, a man of great 
force of will, declared that he had no faith whatever either 
in the promises or in the efficacious protection of the Chi- 
nese Government, which was crumbling to pieces. This 
was on May 27, and Sir Claude on the same day called at 


the Yamen, where Prince Ching and the Minister had no 
difficulty in persuading him that energetic measures were 
being taken by the Chinese Government to resist the 
progress of the Boxer movement. The movement, Sir 
Claude telegraphed, had thoroughly alarmed the Chinese 

In fact, incredible as it may seem, it appears that our 
Representative in Pekin always believed and concurred in 
the views of the last person who spoke to him, especially 
when he was being misinformed. Indeed, it is to be 
doubted whether on that date (May 27) there was any 
foreigner of any intelligence in China, other than officials, 
who was not fully aware that the Boxer movement was 
protected and supported by the Government. 

Twenty-four hours more had to elapse before the guards 
would be sent for. It was thought well to wait for further 
developments. Sir E. Seymour, the Commander-in-Chief 
of the China Squadron, seeing the unsettled state of affairs 
in the north, deemed it advisable to send H.M.S. Orlando 
and Algerine to Taku, in case guards should be required in 


Bishop Favier and his knowledge of China — His historical 
letter — The contrast to our Minister's information. 

The now historical letter of the French Bishop Favier to 
the Minister of France is sufficient proof that there were 
foreigners in China — outside of the Legations — who knew 
the exact gravity of the situation. By way of contrast 
and comment, part of a letter from Sir Claude MacDonald 
written two days later is here also appended : 

Copy of letter from 

Bishop Favier to M. Pichon. 

Vicariat Apostolique de Pekin et Tche-ly Nord, 
Pekin, le 19 Mai, 1900. 

" De jour en jour la situation devient plus grave et plus 
menaqante. Dans la Prefecture de Pao-ting-fu, plus de 
soixante-dix Chretiens ont ete massacres, trois autres neo- 
phytes ont ete coupes en morceaux. Plusieurs villages ont 
ete pilles et livres aux flammes; un plus grand nombre 
d'autres ont ete completement abandonnes. Plus de 2000 
Chretiens sont en fuite, sans pain, sans vetements, et sans 
abri; a Pekin seulement, environ 400 refugies, hommes, 


femmes et enfants, sont deja loges chez nous et chez les 
soeurs; avant huit jours nous en aurons probablement 
plusieurs milliers; nous allons etre obliges de licencier les 
ecoles, les colleges, et tous les hopitaux, pour faire place a 
ces malheureux. 

" Du cote de Test le pillage et I'incendie sont imminents; 
nous re^evons a chaque heure les nouvelles les plus alar- 
mantes. Pekin est cerne de tous cotes; les Boxeurs se 
rapprochent chaque jour de la capitale, retardes seulement 
par Taneantissement qu'ils font des Chretientes. Croyez- 
moi, je vous prie, M. le Ministre, je suis bien informe, et je 
n'avance rien a legere. La persecution religieuse n'est 
qu'un rideau; le but principal est I'extermination des 
Europeens, but qui est clairement indique et ecrit sur les 
etendards des Boxeurs. Leurs affilies les attendent a 
Pekin; on doit commencer par I'attaque des eglises et finir 
par celle des Legations. Pour nous, ici au Pe-tang, le 
jour est meme fixe; toute la ville le connait, tout le monde 
en parle, et I'effervescence populaire est manifeste. Hier 
soir encore, quarante-trois pauvres femmes, avec leurs 
enfants, fuyant le massacre, sont arrivees chez les soeurs; 
plus de 500 personnes les accompagnaient, en leur disant 
que, si elles ont echappe une fois, elles y passeront bientot 
ici avec les autres. 

" Je ne vous parle pas, M. le Ministre, des placards sans 
nombre qui sont affiches dans la ville contre les Europeens 
en general; chaque jour il en parait de nouveaux, plus clairs 
les uns que les autres. 

" Les personnes qui ont assiste, il y a trente ans, aux 
massacres de Tientsin, sont frappees de la ressemblance 
de la situation d'alors avec celle d'aujourd'hui; memes 
placards, memes menaces, memes avertissements, et 


meme aveiiglement. Alors aussi, comme aujourd'hui, 
les missionnaires ont ecrit, supplie, prevoyant Thorrible 

" Dans ces circonstances, M. le Ministre, je crois de mon 
devoir de vous prier de vouloir bien nous envoyer, au moins 
au Pe-tang, qnarante ou cinquante marins pour proteger 
nos personnes et nos biens. Cela s'est fait deja dans des 
-circonstances beaucoup moins critiques, et j'espere que 
vous prendrez en consideration mon humble supplique. 
" Veuillez, &c., 
" (Signe) Alph. Favier, Ev., Vic. Ap. de Pekin. 

•• ^ Ev.-Coadjuteur. 

" C. M. GuiLLAUME, Vic-Gen." 

[Translation] : 

Apostolic Mission of Peking and North Chih-li, 
Peking, May 19, 1900. 

" M. LE Ministre, — 

" The situation is becoming daily more and more 
serious and threatening. In the Prefecture of Pao-ting-fu 
more than seventy Christians have been massacred, three 
other neophytes have been cut to pieces. Several villages 
have been looted and burnt, a yet greater number of others 
have been completely deserted. Over 2,000 Christians are 
fugitives, without food, clothes, or shelter; in Pekin alone 
about 400 refugees — men, women, and children — have 
already been given shelter by us and the Sisters; in another 
week's time we shall probably have several thousands to 
look after; we shall be obliged to disband the schools, col- 
leges, and all the hospitals, to make room for these un- 
fortunate people. 


" On the east, pillage and incendiarism are imminent; we 
receive more and more alarming news every hour. Pekin 
is surrounded on all sides; the Boxers are daily approach- 
ing the capital, being only delayed by the measures they 
are taking for destroying all the Christian settlements. I 
beg you will be assured, M. le Ministre, that I am well in- 
formed, and am making no statements at random. The 
religious persecution is only a blind; the main object is to 
exterminate the Europeans, and this object is clearly indi- 
cated and written on the Boxers' standards. Their accom- 
plices in Pekin are awaiting them; they are to begin by 
an attack on the churches, and are finally to assault the 
Legations. For us, indeed, here at Pe-tang, the day of at- 
tack has actually been fixed; the whole town knows it, 
everybody is talking about it, and the popular excitement 
is clearly manifest. Last night, again, forty-three poor 
women, with their children, flying from massacre, arrived 
at the Sisters' home; over 500 people accompanied them, 
telling them that, although they had succeeded in escaping 
once, they would soon all perish here with the rest. 

" I will not speak of the numberless placards, M. le Min- 
istre, which are posted in the town against Europeans in 
general; new notices appear daily, each more clearly ex- 
pressed than the last. 

" People who were present at the massacres in Tientsin 
30 years ago are struck by the similarity of the situation 
then with that of to-day; there are the same placard's, the 
same threats, the same notices, and the same want of fore- 
sight. Then also, as to-day, the missionaries wrote and 
begged, foreseeing the horrible awakening. 

" In these circumstances, M. le Ministre, I think it is my 
duty to request you to send us, at least to Pe-tang, 40 or 50 


sailors, to protect us and our belongings. This has been 
done on much less critical occasions, and I trust you will 
favourably consider my humble application. 
" I have, &c., 
" (Signed) Alph. Favier, Bp., Vic. Ap. of Pekin. 

" ^ Bp.-Coadjutor. 

" C. M. GuiLLAUME, Vic-Gen." 

Sir Claude MacDonald's Letter to Lord Salisbury, 

May 21. 

" As regards my own opinion as to the danger to which 
Europeans in Pekin are exposed, I confess that little has 
come to my knowledge to confirm the gloomy anticipations 
of the French Fathers. The demeanour of the inhabitants 
of the city continues to be quiet and civil towards foreign- 
ers. ... I am convinced that a few days' heavy rainfall to 
terminate the long-continued drought would do more to 
restore tranquillity than any measures which either the 
Chinese Government or foreign Governments could take." 

Comments on these two letters are superfluous. 


Pekin-Tientsin railway destroyed — Foresight of French and 
Russian Ministers — Their guards on their way to Pekin — Pekin 
in extreme danger — Imperial troops unite with the Boxers — 
Imperial favour shown to the rebels — How the Chinese regard 
our civilisation — Their dream of revenge — H.M.S. tlag-ship 
Centurion and the Whiting, Endymion, and Fame proceed to 

The developments expected quickly came. The railway 
between Pekin and Tientsin was torn up in many places, 
and several station sheds, machine houses, and dwellings of 
Europeans — especially at Yeng-tai, six miles from Pekin — 
were destroyed by the Boxers, 

The traflfic and passenger service was necessarily inter- 
rupted ; the supposed rebels were not interfered with by the 
authorities, and the Legations, missionaries, and other 
residents in Pekin found themselves, all of a sudden, in a 
somewhat precarious position. Fortunately the telegraph 
was still working. 

The French Minister, who had received from his Govern- 
ment full authority to act on his own judgment, and to call 
for troops whenever he deemed them urgent, had not 
waited, like the other foreign Representatives, " twenty- 
four hours more for further developments." He had acted 
quickly and wisely. So had the Russian Minister; and 


these two nations, which have, after all, not so many sub- 
jects to protect in Northern China as has England or 
America, had at once sent for guards of lOO men each to 
be despatched to Pekin. Sir Claude and the American 
Minister only telegraphed for Legation guards on May 29, 
or nearly two days later. 

The situation in Pekin was one of extreme danger; the 
anti-foreign feeling showing itself suddenly in all its viru- 
lence, murderous placards being posted everywhere, and 
Boxer instigators, such as Buddhist bonzes and preachers, 


collecting large crowds all over the city undisturbed, and 
proposing the destruction of foreigners and their property. 
The Imperial troops were demoralised and apparently on 
good terms with the Boxers, while the Government openly 
supplied food, arms, ammunition and clothes to the pre- 
sumably " rebel " mob. 

The Tsung-li-Yamen refused permission to the guards to 
come to Pekin, but a day later, May 31, allowed thirty 
marines of each nationality for the protection of the 

The French and Russians, who were already on their way 


to Tientsin by river, were compelled to turn back, as they 
were not in sufficient numbers to face a Chinese Imperial 
force which threatened to fire on them should they con- 
tinue their journey. Reinforced by the British, Americans, 
Italians, and Japanese, they all started again together. On 
May 31, at 4.15 in the afternoon by special train there ar- 
rived in Pekin the following foreign troops : Three British 
officers and 75 men, seven American officers and 50 men, 
three Italian officers and 47 men, two Japanese officers and 
23 men, three French officers and 'jt, men, and four Rus- 
sian officers and 71 men. The troops took with them five 
quick-firing guns. The appearance of foreign troops — 
even in such small numbers — had for a few days a salutary 
effect on the Chinese, who quieted down temporarily, while 
much relief was felt in the Legations at the arrival of these 
guards, since, although scanty, they would, in case of a 
crisis, afford some protection to the women and children, 
whereas there had before been absolutely none. 

The city of Pekin itself was not much disturbed, but in its 
immediate neighbourhood Christian converts were assas- 
sinated daily, and chapels, churches, and houses of mission- 
aries were being looted, burnt, or destroyed. 

In the Imperial Palace — although Sir Claude reported to 
the contrary — there existed, even before that time, not fear 
of, but encouragement and friendliness towards the Boxers, 
the Empress-Dowager, with Prince Tuan and a number of 
foreigner-hating Manchu princes, believing firmly that the 
moment had come when the Chinese could at last either kill 
or drive into the sea every foreign devil. It must ever be 
borne in mind that this notion is and will always be firmly 
rooted in every Chinaman's mind. The higher he is in 
official position the deeper is his feeling of contempt and 


hatred for foreigners. One hears reports that the Chinaman 
admires our civilisation, that he is in amazement at our in- 
ventions, that he will one day be as civilised as we are, that 
is to say when he has learned enough. And so the Chinese 
will be. He will strive to purchase machinery, guns, and 
ammunition, he will gradually learn how to work them, and 
when he does he will do it well; but this will only be in or- 
'.der to learn how to fight us, and to have his revenge for 
what he considers, probably with justice, as our ofifences. 
He will never rest content until, no matter at what cost to 
his nation in human life, in money, suffering, and humilia- 
tion; no matter what blows may have been dealt him, he 
can one day stand up fiercer than ever and strike back a 
harder blow at us than any he has received. 

" Revenge ! Revenge ! " is the smothered cry of the Chi- 
nese. " The day will come when we will fight these foreign 
devils with their own weapons, driving them out of our 
country, and with them their corrupt ways, their machines, 
their reforms. Then shall we once again return to our old 
doctrines and rites, and happiness will reign for ever over 
our country." 

This is the dream of the Chinaman. Perhaps we shall 
help him to turn it into reality. 

Admiral Seymour, who was at Wei-hai-wei with the fleet, 
seeing that matters grew worse than had at first been ex- 
pected, proceeded to Taku with the flag-ship Centurion and 
H.M.S. Whiting, Endymion, and Fame. 


The escape of the Belgian and Italian railway engineers from 
the town of Pao-ting-fu — Attempt to reach Tientsin by boat — 
M. Ketels' relief expedition — The first refugees — In a sad plight 
— The journey by water — Terrible experiences — A fatal attempt 
to retreat to Pao-ting-fu — A junk attacked by Boxers — A fear- 
ful night. 

An interesting chapter in the history of the Chinese War 
of 1900 was the escape of the Belgian and Italian railway 
engineers from the town of Pao-ting-fu. 

Towards the end of May, the Belgian Consul in Tientsin 
received news that the railway between Shang-sin-tien and 
Pao-ting-fu had been utterly destroyed, and that, moreover, 
the engineers and their families were besieged by Boxers in 
Shang-sin-tien. A hurriedly-got up expedition of nine or 
ten men, British, Belgian, and German, started at once 
from Tientsin to their rescue, but when, after some con- 
siderable opposition, they reached Shang-sin-tien, they 
found the place absolutely destroyed, and learned that the 
people had fled towards Pekin. 

Of those Europeans employed in the railway at Pao- 
ting-fu, news reached Pekin that they had obtained some 
boats, on which they were attempting to reach Tientsin by 
river. They were anxiously awaited, but days went by, and 


much concern was felt over their fate by the residents in 
Tientsin. On Friday, June 8, three Chinese who were in- 
terpreters to the engineers came weeping into the Belgian 
Consulate, saying the Boxers had attacked their masters, 
and that if immediate relief were not sent they feared all 
would be massacred. 

M. Ketels, the Belgian Consul, who had the welfare of 
his countrymen much at heart, there and then organised 
an expedition of volunteers to go to their rescue, but time 
was short, and the relief party counted altogether no more 
than thirty horsemen and ten men on foot, armed with 
Winchester, Mannlicher and Martini rifles. Among these 
men were Britishers, Belgians, French and Germans. They 
were divided into two columns, a party of horsemen ahead 
acting as scouts, the other horsemen and those on foot 
behind, carrying with them several cartloads of provisions 
and clothes for the people to be rescued, as well as for 

Insulted and yelled at by a threatening mob of Chinese, 
they traversed Tientsin native city. One of the Chinese 
interpreters had volunteered to return with them to the 
rescue of his superiors and to act as guide. 

Soon after leaving the city wall, however, the first batch 
of engineers were found straggling in a pitiable condition 
towards the settlement. They were three Belgians, who, 
hardly able to speak from weakness and starvation, pointed 
out that more were coming behind. In fact, there pres- 
ently arrived quite a number — about thirty in all — of men, 
women, and children, barefooted and bleeding, their clothes 
torn and ragged, and some of the women with nothing 
more than a shirt or a rag to cover them. Everything had 
been torn from their backs. There were ten women among 




the refugees, of whom two were in the family way — one of 
them seven months. Another woman, half-naked, carried 
tight to her breast a little baby three years old. After the 
severe strain, many of them, finding that they were now 
practically safe, collapsed with nervous prostration. They 
were fed and clothed and brought into the concession. 

The escaping party had left Pao-ting-fu in several junks, 
with Mr. Sun, the Chinese director of the railways, at their 
head. They were not bodily hurt in Pao-ting-fu itself, 
where a crowd of over ten thousand people had assembled 
to witness their departure, merely showering insults upon 
them. As they proceeded down river, repeated signs of 
hostility on the part of the natives were encountered, stones 
were thrown at them, and shots fired. 

Sun and Mr. Ossant's interpreter, another Chinese, fear- 
ing that the worst had not yet come, tried to screen the 
Europeans by closing the sides of the cabin in the junk. 
It was an anxious time for those boxed inside, for they could 
see nothing, but they heard the yells of the angry mob fol- 
lowing the junks on both sides of the narrow river, and 
stones and bullets were pelting on the roof and sides of the 
cabin. Having rounded a bend in the river, they were now 
approaching a village. The roaring sound of a gong was 
fast collecting a threatening crowd of villagers, who rushed 
towards the river bank as the junk drifted down with the 
current. A terrific fusillade was opened on the first boats 
that arrived, and even old cannon firing mitraille were used 
by the Chinese in order to sink the boats. The Europeans, 
many of them badly wounded, were compelled to rush out 
of the cabins, and desperate endeavours were made to land 
on the opposite side of the river. Only one junk — the last. 

occupied by the engineer-in-chief, Mr. Ossant, his sister, 
Vol. I.-5 


and the two Italian engineers, Cadei and Penzaro — turned 
back, and strove to steer towards Pao-ting-fu. The at- 
tempt was fatal. The junk went some little distance, a 
fanatical crowd of Boxers following, brandishing their tri- 
dents, swords and guns, and firing from close quarters. 
Those who had landed, regardless of the danger to them- 
selves, were watching with swollen hearts the desperate at- 
tempts of the crew that was going up stream. The junk 
stopped; it must have become stuck in the mud. The Chi- 
nese rushed into the water. In a moment there were 
swarms of them all round the boat, kept at bay by the brave 
men inside, but the number of assailants grew and grew. 
The Europeans who had landed endeavoured to go to the 
assistance of their friends, but they too were hard pressed 
and could do nothing. 

Night came. The distant yells of the Boxers attacking 
the boat ceased. Some of the Europeans, screened by the 
darkness of the night, crept along the river bank and went 
to look for their friends. The junk was no more, and they 
feared — doubtless with but too much truth, since nothing 
was heard of them later — that Ossant and all the others had 
pyerished, massacred by the merciless Chinese. The body 
of a European woman, swollen and ripped open, was seen 
floating down the river — and was presumably that of 
Ossantis sister. 


A disastrous journey on foot — Chased by Boxers — Hand-to- 
hand fights — Dissension among the refugees — Separation — 
The last night — Hiding in a marsh — The capture of a Chinese 
gun — Safe at last — M. Ketels and his volunteers — Cossacks 
and their pluck — Lieutenant Blonsky the most wounded officer 
of the Allies. 

The next morning the small party of survivors tried to 
proceed on foot to Tientsin. The boats with provisions 
and clothes had been abandoned or sunk. 

Marching incessantly day and night, followed by a swarm 
of Boxers, whom they just managed to keep at bay, with 
no food except grass and the water of marshes, they pushed 
on and on, exhausted, panting, footsore and bleeding, 
chased by the angry mob of human vampires behind them. 

When they became half dead with fatigue, or when they 
were waiting for the women and children to rest awhile, the 
Boxers grew bold, and on six occasions made fierce attacks 
on them. But these brave men were armed with old Chi- 
nese Mauser rifles, and each attack was repulsed. Over 
seventy Boxers were killed by them. 

They found their way by following the line of telegraph 
poles. In some instances the Boxers came to such close 
quarters that a hand-to-hand fight arose, in which the 
women took part with the men. 

Their sufferings were appalling, and their strength had 
almost altogether vanished, yet, clinging to life to the last 


minute, they dragged themselves nearer and nearer to the 
place where they would be safe. Only two more days and 
nights of marching, and Tientsin would be reached ! 

The party, already small and weak, broke up, for even in 
such straits, when their one very faint chance seemed to lie 
in keeping together, there were some who thought they 
might have a better opportunity of safely escaping if alone. 

Six left the rest to shift for themselves. Of these six, 
two, Baillau, a Belgian, and Dillon, a Frenchman, were 
never heard of again. What with the heat, fatigue, wounds 
and hunger, Dillon had completely gone out of his mind. 
During the last few days he behaved like a madman, and 
caused additional anxiety to the party. 

The main body of the party, now thinned out, and at the 
stage when only a few more hours' journey divided them 
from the arms of their friends, were slowly marching on, 
the last night before reaching Tientsin. The Boxers, some 
4000 in number, who, not unlike famished ravens waiting 
for the last breath of their prey, had been hunting these 
poor wretches all along, evidently made up their minds not 
to let them escape at the last moment. In the middle of the 
night they surrounded the Europeans on all sides and kept 
up a heavy fire on them. The poor wretches were driven 
from the shelter they had found, and only escaped by 
plunging into a marsh, where they spent the remainder of 
the night in muddy water right up to their nostrils. They 
kept close together in a bunch to keep warm. No pen is 
adequate to describe their sufferings. The night never 
seemed to end. 

In the morning they came out, and with the hot sun some 
of their strength and a faint ray of hope came back to them. 
The Boxers, who had withdrawn, returned to the attack, 



this time with two old-fashioned cannon, which fired shot 
after shot, without, indeed, doing any execution, but which 
barred the way and made it impossible for the party to 

Six men volunteered to sacrifice themselves for the sake 
of the others. They rushed, rifles in hand, towards the 
Chinese gunners, who, incredible as it may seem to people 


not acquainted with Chinese cowardice, abandoned the 
guns and stampeded in every direction. This victory gave 
the poor wretches renewed courage, and Tientsin city was 
now in full sight. 

They pushed on faster than they had previously done. 
The miles seemed short as compared to those of preceding 
days. The wounded — and nearly all were more or less 
seriously injured — supported one another as they stumbled 


along. Nearly every man carried a rifle and a few rounds 
of ammunition, probably an average of sixty or seventy 
cartridges each. Everything else except these weapons of 
defence had been discarded. It was only at very close 
quarters that they ever fired on the Boxers, and these in- 
variably showed contemptible cowardice. When a few of 
them fell dead the others bolted away. 

The journey from Pao-ting-fu occupied some six days of 
continuous marching — slow, naturally, on account of the 
women, children, and wounded. Half naked, these heroes 
were met, as we have seen, by the relief party, who led 
them back into Tientsin. 

M. Ketels, the Belgian Consul, showed much energy and 
consideration in proceeding to their rescue the moment he 
heard of their predicament, and it was by his doing that 
they received every necessary care and medical treatment 
when in Tientsin. 

He, on the other hand, who gave me these interesting 
details, expressed his high admiration and gratitude to 
those British, French, German, and all other volunteers, 
who, without a moment's hesitation, accompanied him on 
their charitable and plucky work of rescue. , 

When all the refugees arrived were mustered there were 
six still missing, but no one could tell what had become of 
them, nor where they had been lost. 

There were at that moment, waiting in Tientsin for or- 
ders, twenty-five Cossacks, who had been destined to make 
part of the Legation guard in Pekin. M. Ketels obtained 
permission from the Russians, which was readily and 
graciously granted, to send these mounted men in search 
of the missing engineers. They were dispatched at once, 
and were out three whole days scouring the country all 


round. On the second day they met with a large force of 
Boxers, and pkickily charged them; but, unfortunately, in 
this encounter the Russian Lieutenant Blonsky, who be- 
haved with extraordinary bravery, received no less than 
fourteen wounds from spears, swords, and bullets, his horse 
having died under him. A Cossack had his nose cut clean 
off by a sword. The most unfortunate part was that the 
doctor-surgeon of the expedition was badly wounded in the 
arms, and was unable to render assistance to those who 
needed it. Nearly all the Cossacks received some wound 
or other in this engagement, and, fearing that a delay in 
attending to their leader might cause his death, the expedi- 
tion was compelled to return to Tientsin. 

A strange coincidence : Lieutenant Blonsky, who was en- 
dowed with an iron constitution, was cared for in the hos- 
pital, and gradually became better. He was eventually 
allowed out, and when he had barely regained sufficient 
strength was one day, during the siege of Tientsin, riding a 
bicycle on the Victoria road, to convey an important mes- 
sage for his superior officer. A shell burst above his head 
and inflicted on him six more wounds. One piece of the 
shell tore off the greater part of his left arm. 

With twenty wounds, received within a space of a few 
weeks, Lieutenant Blonsky was certainly entitled to be 
called the most wounded officer of the Allies in the Chinese 

Strange to say, although crippled, he recovered from 
these last wounds as well as from the first, and regained 
good health. 

The circumstance speaks volumes for the toughness of 
the Russian soldiers in general, and their officers in par- 


A coup d'etat feared — Situation in Pekin grave — Messrs. 
Robinson and Norman murdered — Chinese Christians in 
serious straits — An interview with Prince Ching — Refusal of 
the Chinese Government to deal firmly with the Boxers — 
Difficulties in obtaining an Imperial audience — Hampering 
formalities — A conference on the flag-ship Centurion — Sir 
Claude MacDonald's discretion left unfettered by his Govern- 
ment — Evil effects of the Chinese decree in the Pekin Gazette. 

A coup-d'etat being seriously feared, upon the flight of 
the Empress-Dowager, the Russian and British Ministers 
were both instructed by their respective Governments to 
support any form of reliable authority which would main- 
tain peace in China. 

The situation in Pekin was getting extremely grave, and 
the French Minister, who was kept well informed, notified 
his colleagues, and urged them to take steps. Even then, 
on June 4, Sir Claude was uncertain whether there was any 
gravity or not in the situation, notwithstanding that an- 
other missionary, Mr. Robinson, had been murdered in a 
most shocking manner, and yet another, Mr. Norman, was 
captured and detained prisoner by Boxers. These things 
happened at Lanfang, nearly half way up the line between 
Pekin and Tientsin, where the Church of England Mission 
houses had been attacked by the mob. 


The native Christians were in serious straits, as nothing 
short of wholesale slaughter seemed to satisfy the Boxers. 
It is probable that had Messrs. Robinson and Norman aban- 
doned the Christians to their fate at the beginning of the 
trouble, they — the two Englishmen — might have escaped 
with their lives. But they were men of honour. They 
would not leave their post of duty in moments of danger, 
and, although massacre stared them in the face, they stood 
like men to protect those whom they had brought up in 
the faith of Christ. 

An escaped native convert conveyed the news that Mr. 
Robinson, with five Christians, had been battered to death, 
and that Mr. Norman, wounded, had been made a prisoner 
by a man called Li, who had once suffered punishment for 
expounding anti-Christian ideas. Li was the headman of 
a small town close by, and he had not got over the loss of 
a beloved son killed in a fight between Boxers and native 
Christians. He prayed for revenge, and he obtained it by 
the murder at his own hands of the Rev. H. V. Norman. 

Mr. Robinson was an intimate friend — in fact they had 
come to China together^-of Mr, Brooks, whose murder 
first called attention in Europe to the seriousness of the 
Boxer movement. 

Sir Claude, believing that Mr. Norman was still alive, 
called in person at the Yamen to ascertain what steps the 
Chinese Government proposed to take to punish the of- 
fenders and to obtain the immediate release of the captive 
missionary. The responsibility of the whole afifair, he was 
impudently informed, fell on the Viceroy; a telegraphic 
message had been sent bidding him take what steps were 
necessary, and no more would be done. They did not ex- 
press regret, or show the least anxiety to effect the relief 


of the imprisoned man, and exhibited the greatest indif- 
ference during the interview. This was probably because, 
as the Yamen no doubt knew, Norman had already been 

Sir Claude refused to discuss matters further with the 
Yamen, and demanded an interview with Prince Ching, 
which was fixed for June 6. 

The interview with Prince Ching and the Ministers of the 
Yamen was of a more satisfactory character, deep regret 
being expressed by the Chinese at what had happened. 
Prince Ching did not conceal the fact that the Government 
were not prepared to deal firmly with the Boxer movement, 
which, owing to its extreme anti-foreign character, was 
popular. He gave Sir Claude to understand that he could 
not guarantee the safety of foreigners in Pekin, nor any- 
where in China, although he fully understood that this fail- 
ure on the part of the Chinese Government to suppress the 
anti-foreign movement might bring about foreign inter- 
vention. The Tientsin-Pekin railway was guarded by some 
six thousand Imperial soldiers, of whom he doubted 
whether they would carry out instructions to fire on the 
Boxers for the protection of foreigners. 

Indirectly, Prince Ching explained how he had failed to 
impress the Court with the danger of inaction on the part 
of the Government. The Empress-Dowager was being ill- 
advised, and he was powerless to remedy the evil. 

Sir Claude MacDonald fully explained to the Prince and 
Ministers that, however much friendly Powers might regret 
intervention, it would become necessary if the Government 
failed to suppress the Boxer movement, by which the lives 
of foreigners in China were endangered. 

Sir Claude MacDonald and the o.ther Ministers of foreign 


Powers certainly did not leave a stone unturned to impress 
upon the Chinese the gravity of the situation, and to warn 
them of the consequences. Now that all other means had 
practically failed, it was decided to demand an audience at 
Court, in order to make direct representations to the Em- 
press-Dowager and the Emperor, This, however, in- 
volved some delay, as none of the Ministers in Pekin had 
Ambassadors' privileges, and the audience would in all 
probability be at first refused. 

Sir Claude rightly expressed his opinion that the demands 
for the audience should be enforced, and Lord Salisbury 
concurred in his views. It was agreed to represent 
strongly to the Throne that unless law and order were 
immediately re-established, and the Boxers suppressed, the 
foreign Powers would be obliged to take measures to sup- 
press that movement themselves, the present state of affairs 
in North China being looked upon as one of grave danger 
to life and damaging to the interests of foreigners. 

Owing to the hampering formalities in diplomatic circles, 
there was some delay in demanding the audience, but in the 
meantime Lord Salisbury took all precautions to be ready 
for any emergency. 

" The wire to Tientsin may be cut at any moment; please 
send immediate instructions to the Admiral," Sir Claude 
telegraphed on the 5th. 

Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Seymour, judging the situa- 
tion of extreme gravity, had ordered the Phoonix and 
Aurora from Wei-Hai-Wei to Taku and the Hiimber to 
Shan-hai-Kuan. On June 6 the Senior Naval Ol^cers of 
the British, Russian, German, French, Italian, Austrian, 
American and Japanese warships at Taku held a conference 
on H.M. flagship Centurion, in order to prepare, if neces- 


sary, for a combined action. The British Government left 
a wide discretion to the Commander-in-Chief of the squad- 
ron as to the measures to be taken, and the Governments 
of other Powers represented had adopted a similar course, 
so that matters proceeded without a hitch, the greatest 
harmony reigning in the relations of the officers of the sev- 
eral nations. 

Lord Salisbury and the Secretary of State for Foreign 
Affairs instructed Sir Claude that his discretion must be 
quite unfettered, and that he could take what measures 
he thought expedient. 

The Chinese Government was still wavering, and pub- 
lished a decree in the Pekin Gazette which was supposed 
to please everybody, Boxers and foreigners alike, but which, 
not unlike previous edicts, had exactly the opposite effect. 


Imperial Decree from the Pekin Gazette, June 6 — Western 
Churches and men of evil character — Boxers the Patriots and 
Champions of peace — The children of the Throne — Official 
neglect of duties — Riots — Disbandment of societies — The 
Generalissimo Jung-lu to pursue and punish the rebels — 
Secret investigations — No mercy. 


(From the Pekin Gazette, June 6.) 

The Western religion has existed and been disseminated 
throughout China for many years, while those who dis- 
seminated it have done nothing except to exhort people to 
do good. Moreover, converts to the religion have never, 
under the protection of religion, raised up disturbances; 
hence converts and the people at large have always re- 
mained at peace with one another, each going his own way 
without let or hindrance. Of late years, however, with the 
constant increase of Western churches throughout the 
country and the consequent overwhelming numbers of con- 
verts joining them, men of evil character have stealthily 
gained a footing in their ranks, making it difficult, in the 
circumstances, for missionaries to distinguish the good 
from the bad amongst the converts. Taking advantage of 
this, these evil characters have accordingly, under the guise 
of being Christians, harassed the common people and bul- 


lied the country-side. We are of opinion, however, that 
perhaps such a condition of afifairs cannot have been 
viewed with favour by the missionaries themselves. As to 
the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan (Patriots and Champions of Peace) So- 
ciety, this organisation was first prohibited during the reign 
of the Emperor Chia Ch'ing (i 795-1 820). Owing, how- 
ever, to the fact that of late the members of this society 
simply trained themselves for purposes of self-protection 
and to defend their homes and villages from attack, and, 
moreover, because they had abstained from creating 
trouble, we did not issue our ban of prohibition according 
to precedent, but merely sent repeated instructions to the 
local authorities concerned to keep a proper restraint on the 
movements of the society. We pointed out to the said 
authorities that the present was not a question of whether 
these people were society men or not, but that the point 
was whether, being banded together, their object was to 
create trouble in the country or not. If, then, the society 
men should indeed rise up and break the peace, it should 
be the duty of the authorities to make a strict search for the 
law-breakers and punish them according to law. Whoever 
these parties may be, whether Christians or society men, the 
Throne makes no difference in its treatment of them, for 
they are all the subjects [children] of the Empire. More- 
over, even in cases of litigation between Christians and the 
common people, our instructions have ever been that the 
authorities should settle them according to the rights of the 
matter, no favour being allowed to be shown to either party. 
It transpires, however, that our commands have of late 
years never been obeyed. The officials of the various 
prefectures, sub-prefectures, departments, and districts 
have been proved to have neglected their duties. They 


have neither acted in friendly conjunction with the mis- 
sionaries, sympathised with the people under them in their 
difficulties, nor settled litigation in the spirit of impartiality, 
and the consequence has been that those concerned began 
to hate one another, the enmity becoming deeper and deep- 
er as occasions for ill-will multiplied. On account of this, 
therefore, we now find the members of the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan 
Society banding themselves together as village militia and 
declaring war against the Christians. In the meantime, we 
find discontented spirits, in conjunction with lawless ruf- 
fians, joining in the movement for their own ends. 

Riots are the order of the day, railways are destroyed, 
and churches are burnt down. Now, the railways were 
constructed by, and are the property of, the Government, 
whilst churches were built by the missionaries and their 
converts for their own occupation. 

Do these society men and others, then, think that they 
will be allowed to destroy and burn at their own sweet will? 
In thus running riot these people are simply opposing 
themselves to the Government. This is really beyond rea- 
son. We therefore appointed Chao Shu-ch'iao, Grand 
Councillor and Governor Adjunct of Pekin, to proceed yes- 
terday as our Imperial Commissioner to restore peace, and 
to call upon the people and society men immediately to dis- 
band and return each man to his own avocations and daily 
work. Should traitors and revolutionary society men try 
to stir up the people to rise up and pillage and destroy the 
country-side, we hereby call upon the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan people 
to hand over to the authorities the ringleaders for punish- 
ment according to the laws of the land. Should any be so 
misguided as to persist in disobeying these our commands, 
they shall be treated as rebels, and we hereby warn them 


that when the grand army arrives their fathers, mothers, 
wives and children will be separated from one another and 
scattered, their homes destroyed, and they themselves slain. 
They will also bring upon themselves the stigma of disloy- 
alty and of being false to their country, for it will then be 
too late to repent. Our heart is filled with pity when we 
think of the retribution that will then overwhelm our peo- 
ple. We therefore hereby declare that if, after this warn- 
ing, there should still be any who refuse to obey our com- 
mands, we will immediately order the Generalissimo, Jung 
Lu, to send Generals Tung-Fu-Hsiang (Kansu corps), 
Sang Ch'ing and Ma Yu-k'un (Szech'uan corps), with their 
commands, to punish these rebels and to disperse them. 
Finally, in sending out troops the primary purpose is to 
protect the law-abiding people; but we now hear that those 
sent out by the Chili provincial authorities have not only 
failed in affording such protection and restraining evil char- 
acters, but, on the contrary, have themselves been guilty 
of preying upon the country-side. We now hereby com- 
mand Yu Lu, Viceroy of Chili, to investigate this matter at 
once, and also to send trusty deputies to make secret in- 
vestigations. If it be found that these military officials 
have indeed been guilty of encouraging their men to loot 
and pillage, such guilty officers are to be summarily exe- 
cuted. There must be no leniency or m.ercy shown to 

Let this our decree be copied out on yellow paper and 
posted throughout the country as a warning to people and 
army, and that all may know our commands.* 

* Translation, North China Daily News. 


The situation in Pekin critical — Boxer placard posted in the 
West City, Pekin — Boxer altars — Drilling of Boxers — Foreign- 
ers mobbed — Cataleptic subjects exhibited by Buddhist priests 
— Vice-Admiral Seymour in command of Relief Expedition 
— Rear-Admiral Bruce in command of British Squadron — An 
alarming message — Force landed. 

The situation in Pekin and the surrounding country was 
critical. In the city the Boxers assembled undisturbed in 
the streets, and official placards for the protection of 
foreigners were torn down by the mob the moment they 
were put up, while Boxer placards, such as the one here 
reproduced, were left on the walls, circulated, and eagerly 
read by thousands of people. 

Placard posted in West City, Pekin, 
[Translation] : 

" In a certain street in Pekin some worshippers of the 
Ih-hwo-Ch'uan at midnight suddenly saw a spirit descend 
in their midst. The spirit was silent for a long time, and 
all the congregation fell upon their knees and prayed. 
Then a terrible voice was heard saying: 

"* I am none other than the Great Yii Ti [god of the 
unseen world] come down in person. Well knowing that 
you are all of devout mind, I have just now descended to 

Vol. I.— 6 


make known to you that these are times of trouble in the 
world, and that it is impossible to set aside the decrees of 
fate. Disturbances are to be dreaded from the foreign 
devils; everywhere they are starting missions, erecting tele- 
graphs, and building railways; they do not believe in the 
sacred doctrine, and they speak evil of the gods. Their 
sins are numberless as the hairs of the head. Therefore am 
I wroth, and my thunders have pealed forth. By night and 
by day have I thought of these things. Should I command 
my generals to come down to earth, even they would not 
have strength to change the course of fate. For this reason 
I have given forth my decree that I shall descend to earth 
at the head of all the saints and spirits, and that wherever 
the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan are gathered together, there shall the 
gods be in the midst of them. I have also to make known 
to all the righteous in the three worlds that they must be 
of one mind, and all practice the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan, that so 
the wrath of Heaven may be appeased. 

" ' So soon as the practice of the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan has been 
brought to perfection — wait for three times three or nine 
times nine, nine times nine or three times three * — then 
shall the devils meet their doom. The will of Heaven is 
that the telegraph wires be first cut, then the railways torn 
up, and then shall the foreign devils be decapitated. In 
that day shall the hour of their calamities come. The time 
for rain to fall is yet afar ofif, and all on account of the 

" * I hereby make known these commands to all you 
righteous folk, that you may strive with one accord to ex- 
terminate all foreign devils, and so turn aside the wrath of 
Heaven. This shall be accounted unto you for well doing; 

* Meaning obscure. 


and on the day when it is done, the wind and rain shall be 
according to your desire. 

" ' Therefore I expressly command you make this known 
in every place.' 

*' This I saw with my own eyes, and therefore I make 
bold to take my pen and write what happened. They who 
believe it shall have merit; they who do not believe it shall 
have guilt. The wrath of the spirit was because of the 
destruction of the Temple of Yii Ti. He sees that the men 
of the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan are devout worshippers and pray to 

" If my tidings are false, may I be destroyed by the five 

" 4^/z moon, ist day [April 2g, 1900]." 

Boxer altars had been erected in the streets and in nearly 
every house. Drilling of the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan's members 
went on even in the houses of Chinese officials, and young 
boys in a cataleptic state were exhibited by Buddhist priests 
in various parts of the town as a palpable example of the 
" white devils' " infamy. Foreigners and native Christians 
were threatened and mobbed in the streets. It was unsafe 
for Europeans to venture out of their houses. 

It was evident that the continuance of communication 
with the capital was only a matter of days, possibly only of 
hours, and the question now arose who, in case of a relief 
expedition being sent to the aid of the Legations, should 
take command of the International force. The unanimous 
appointment to this honoured post of Vice-Admiral Sir 
Edward Seymour not only received the approval of Lord 
Salisbury and the Admiralty, but was pleasing to the whole 
British nation. It was gratifying to see that he had for 


Chief of Staflf a Russian colonel. The command of the 
British squadron off Taku, at the mouth of the Pei-ho, was 
left to Rear-Admiral Bruce. 

In order to avoid unduly depleting the ships of men, Sir 
Edward requested, and obtained, that troops from Hong- 
Kong and Singapore should be kept at his disposal. 

On June lo the following alarming message was received 
by the Admiral from Sir Claude MacDonald : 

" Situation extremely grave. Unless arrangements are 
made for immediate advance on Pekin, it will be too late." 

A force of all available men was landed at once, and 
officers of all nationalities present at Taku co-operated in 
getting together as many men as possible to be despatched 
to the relief of the Legations. 

The Chinese Government informed the various Lega- 
tions in Pekin that should the force not exceed 1200 men 
their march to the capital would not be opposed. 


A meeting of Consuls and Naval Commandants in Tientsin — 
More alarming news from the Capital — French and Russian 
advice — The usual formalities — Four trains proceed to the 
Relief of Pekin — Imperial troops at Yangtsun — The first 
troubles of the Expedition — Railway line damaged — Approach- 
ing enemy — The first engagement with Boxers — Great bravery 
of the fanatics — Reinforcements for the Allies — At Lanfang — 
Railway torn up. 

On the evening of June 9 a meeting of Consuls and Naval 
Commandants was held in the French Consulate at Tient- 
sin, to consider the urgent request 
of the Ministers in Pekin for the 
despatch to that city of a second 
contingent of guards. 

The British, Italian, Japanese, 
Austrian, and American leaders 
agreed to send all men available 
as quickly as possible for the pur- 
pose of restoring the railway to the 
capital, and of releasing the Legations as soon as the line 
was in working order. 

More alarming news continued to come from Pekin, and 
the country between Pekin and Tientsin was reported in- 
fested by Boxers. It was suggested by the Russians and 

A KLr>sl.\.N 


French at this conference that it would be inadvisable and 
useless under the circumstances to despatch a force of less 
than 1500 men, as the railway had been torn up in many 
places. Troops were coming from Port Arthur, and their 
arrival might be awaited. Nevertheless, if it were decided 
to despatch detachments, both Russia and France, al- 
though recognising the inutility of such an expedition, 
would gladly take part. 

Sir Claude MacDonald's telegram of the 9th : " Situation 
extremely grave; unless arrangements are made for im- 
mediate advance to Pekin it will be too late," spoke too 
plainly to allow of any delay, but the haste to rescue their 
fellow-creatures from danger brought disastrous results to 
a brave and noble group of men. 

The usual formalities were not done away with even in 
such a pressing emergency, and it was stipulated at the 
Consuls' meeting that the Viceroy should be requested to 
furnish train accommodation for the detachments to leave 
on the morning of the loth. In fact, three trains started 
on that date to convey the relief column to Pekin, and they 
were composed as follows : 

No. I train. — Eight carriages, three uncovered trucks, 

one waggon with rails and sleepers. 
No. 2 train. — Eleven carriages, eleven uncovered 

trucks, and one waggon with rails and sleepers. 

Three carriages were loaded with stores. 
No. 3 train. — ^Three carriages, eight uncovered trucks, 

and five waggons loaded with sleepers. 
A fourth and similar train to No. 3 was despatched the 
following day, the nth. The uncovered trucks were di- 
rectly behind the engine. They were armoured, and had 
Hotchkiss machine guns mounted on them. 


The trains left Tientsin at 9.30 a.m. on June 10. The 
Allied forces carried on them were: 915 British, 450 Ger- 
mans, 300 Russians, 158 French, 100 Americans, 52 
Japanese, 40 Italians, 25 Austrians. One hundred coolies 
were also taken to repair the line where necessary. 

The force was under the supreme command of Vice- 
Admiral Sir Edward Seymour, who proceeded in the first 


train with the British contingent. The Japanese, with 
Captain Mori, were in train No. 2. 

The station of Yangtsun, 30 miles from Tientsin, was 
reached at i p.m. the same day, and so far the railway line 
was in good condition, nor were any traces of the Boxers 
or of their destructive work noticeable. At Yangtsun, near 
the station, Chinese Imperial troops, under General Nieh, 
were encamped, and had mounted four guns commanding 
the station platform and railway line. The iron bridge was 

No hostile demonstration took place on the part of the 
Chinese, and after stopping for water the trains proceeded. 
There were Chinese soldiers posted all along the railway 

Some three and a-half miles beyond the Yangrtsun bridge 


the troubles of the expedition began. The trains came to 
a dead stop, for the railway had been badly damaged, the 
rails torn up, the sleepers burnt, and the bridges partly 
destroyed. A halt was consequently called in order to re- 
pair the line, and the night was spent at that place. 

Early the next morning the work was commenced, and 
before noon, with the materials conveyed in the trucks, the 
line was patched up enough for the trains to continue slowly 
towards the next station of Lappa. 

Late in the afternoon, at about six, the train stopped and 
the alarm was given that the enemy was approaching. 
Major Johnstone and six marines, followed by Midshipman 
Davies and ten marines, were marching some distance 
ahead of the train along the line to examine its condition, 
when a body of Boxers was noticed leaving the village, in 
order, apparently, to cut them off from the trains. Retreat- 
ing in due haste towards the main body of the force, the 
small party kept up an exciting running fight with the 
enemy. When only a few hundred yards from the train 
the bluejackets poured a hot fire from the railway embank- 
ment into the Boxers, and drove them towards the main 
British force. The enemy was then exposed to a severe 
cross fire from the Maxims and rifles of the Centurion's 
men. The marines had alighted from the trucks to repel 
the attack of this horde of fanatics, who ran close under 
the guns, waving their swords, pitchforks and clubs. As 
they actually came within a range of two or three hundred 
yards, their red turbans and sashes could plainly be seen, 
showing that they were Boxers, and not regular troops. 
They carried no firearms to speak of, except old-fashioned 
matchlocks. Some of the enemy were mounted, but the 
majority were on foot, young boys, apparently in a state 

iien Goun Tun 





Drawn by 
A. Hy. Savage Landor. 


of hysterical frenzy, running wildly in front of the mad 
crowd. Their number in all was estimated at close upon 
1,500. They showed astounding bravery, dashing upon 
the British and exposing themselves with bare chests to the 
bullets of foreign rifles. 

For an hour the fusillade was kept up — on one side only 
— with Maxims and rifles while these fanatics dashed to the 
attack time after time with their primitive weapons. They 
were repulsed, and were believed to have suffered heavily. 
According to Sir E. Seymour, thirty-five were killed, but 
whether, during the night, they removed their dead and 
wounded, or for some other reason, only very few bodies of 
men and horses were found the following day on the battle- 
field. There were no casualties on the side of the Allies. 

The trains, with the Allies, reinforced by two hundred 
more Russians and fifty-eight French (arrived on the nth) 
and now, altogether 2,000 strong, resumed their slow jour- 
ney the following morning towards Lanfang, taking every 
precaution against a sudden attack. 

Lanfang was reached at noon without further mishap, but 
north of this place the rails had been torn up, badly twisted 
or destroyed. In places the rails had been carried away 
bodily for several hundred yards of line, and thrown into 
the river, so that they could not be found. Reparation of 
the line was commenced at once, and with alacrity, but un- 
fortunately a sufficient quantity of rails and sleepers were 
not at hand, and it became evident that several days must 
pass before the trains could go any further. Three hun- 
dred more Russians proceeded to the assistance of the ex- 
pedition (June 12), bringing the total number of men under 
Sir Edward Seymour to 2,300. 


Head-quarters at Lanfang — Entry of troops into Pekin to be 
opposed — Murder of the Chancellor of the Japanese Legation 
— Conciliatory visits and orders to slaughter — Customs build- 
ings wrecked — European graveyard desecrated — A specified 
date — Danger of the relief force being cut off — The advisability 
of capturing the Taku forts — On June 13 — A skirmish of 
Americans and Boxers — An attempt to destroy the armoured 
trains — An Italian picket cut off — Chinese vitality — Rushing 
quick-firing guns. 

Head-quarters were made at Lanfang for the night, and 
on the 13th the raihvay was found to be so broken up that 
in the next twenty-four hours, although there was no fight- 
ing, an advance of only three miles was made by the reUev- 
ing force. The Boxers were reported in great numbers 
two miles ahead of the Allies, and a courier arrived from the 
capital reporting that hostile preparations were being made 
by the population and Imperial troops, with General Tung- 
Fu-Hsiang at their head, to oppose the entry of the foreign 
troops into the city, and that Mr. Sogiyama, Chancellor of 
the Japanese Legation, had been barbarously murdered by 
the soldiers of General Tung's cavalry when on his way to 
the station, while European Legation Students had had nar- 
row escapes in several parts of the Tartar and Chinese city, 
being obliged to defend themselves with their revolvers. 



There was no doubt that the Hves of all foreigners in 
Pekin were in great danger, notwithstanding the assurances 
given by the Yamen that if no more than 1,200 men were 
sent, the Chinese Government would not oppose their march 
to Pekin. When these conciliatory visits of the Yamen 
Ministers to Sir Claude MacDonald took place (on June 
12), it was already well known by the Chinese all over the 
country that the Empress-Dowager had issued orders to the 
Boxers to destroy the Legations and murder all foreigners. 
The British Summer Legation on the hills some 12 miles 
from Pekin had already been burned (June 13), and on that 
same evening the old Custom-House buildings, the grand 
stand of the Race-Course, and various mission schools and 
residences had been entered by Boxers, looted, and burnt 
to the ground, many defenceless servants of Europeans, 
converts, and Chinese Christians being mercilessly massa- 
cred. Even the European graveyard was desecrated, the 
bodies disinterred, and the tombstones smashed. The date 
specified for the destruction of the Legations was June 16. 

When this alarming news came from the capital, Sir Ed- 
ward Seymour and his plucky force made superhuman ef- 
forts to restore rail communication with the Tartar city 
as speedily as possible, little knowing that behind them, in 
Tientsin itself, the situation was becoming serious. The 
force was in imminent danger of being cut off by the Chi- 
nese, who were concentrating their Imperial troops in such 
great numbers in the surrounding country of Tientsin and 
Taku, that the Admirals deemed it advisable to take im- 
mediate possession of the Taku and Tong-ku forts before 
a complete and formidable concentration was allowed to 
take place. 

In America and Europe the Admirals were much blamed 


for coming to this conclusion; in fact, they have been even 
accused of unduly treating the Chinese without tact or re- 
spect. But few people seem to consider that had the Chi- 
nese been able to concentrate a great force of well-armed 
men, whom they had ready, at these forts — the key, as it 
were, of the Pei-ho river — not only the Legations in Pekin 
but the large settlement of Tientsin itself would have been 
at the absolute mercy of the Celestials. 

On June 13 the relief party was still hard at work on the 
railroad beyond Lanfang, half-way to Pekin. A party of 
Americans had a skirmish with a hundred Boxers and killed 
a number of them, while some British marines of the ad- 
vance were fiercely attacked six miles from head-quarters 
by a horde of fanatics armed with knives and waving large 
banners. The marines duly repulsed them, killing over one 

On June 14, the Boxers made a most determined attempt 
to seize and destroy the armoured trains. It was at about 
10 A.M. and some of the Allies were resting, or washing 
their clothes, while others were working on the line. The 
Boxers managed to conceal themselves until they were 
about two hundred yards from the trains, when they sprang 
out yelling their war cry, and rushed on the Allies. Our 
men emptied their magazines upon them, but still they 
rushed on with astounding bravery, fully exposed to the 
fire of the Allies, careless of their lives, and waving their 
swords and knives. A Maxim gun was turned on them 
when they were but sixty or seventy yards away and the 
execution it did was terrific as its thousands of shots rattled 
into the solid mass of human beings rushing on towards 
the Allies under this murderous fire. Notwithstanding 
this bravery — due, no doubt, to the more or less firm belief 



in their own invulnerability — when the rows of fanatics be- 
hind trod on the rows of dead and bleeding fallen in front, 
their courage failed them, and dropping pitchforks, swords, 
and matchlocks, they bolted for dear life. 

Several chasing parties were sent out to pursue them in 




all directions, and to clear the nearest villages of the enemy. 
Unfortunately, a picket of Italians was cut off and sur- 
rounded by the Chinese, and one petty officer and four 
marines were killed. Their bodies were found fearfully 

The vitality of the Chinese when wounded by small-bore 
bullets was remarkable. Some struck by one or two pro- 
jectiles would continue running towards the Maxims, and 
on examination several dead had no less than four or five 
wounds. The bodies of a few of their braver men were 
found only forty yards from the position of the Allies, and 
fully 150 of their men lay dead around the battlefield, vic- 
tims of their foolhardy attempts to rush our quick-firing 


A second attack — Report of a scouting party — Matters in 
Tientsin reach a crisis — Imperial soldiers destroying the rail- 
way line at Yangtsun — The return of the Expedition — Villages 
burnt — Germans capture junks — An attack on the trains by 
Boxers and Imperial troops — Enemy well-armed — Casualties 
of the Allies — Critical situation for the Relief Expedition — The 
trains abandoned — On the march — The enemy attacked and 
driven away from a strong position — Attack on a village in 
possession of Boxers and soldiers — The British Consul and the 
Viceroy of Tientsin — Mr. Carles' telegram — Lord Salisbury's 
generous ofifer. 

The same afternoon a second attack, by a force of Boxers 
estimated at 2,000, was made on the Lofa station. They 
were again repulsed, leaving 50 or 60 dead, while the Allies 
had no serious casualties. A scouting party, under Major 
Johnstone, reported that the railway further up the line was 
in a dreadful condition, the rails having been torn up and 
carried away for several miles. Furthermore, things in 
Tientsin were coming to a crisis. The native city was at 
the mercy of the Boxers, and chapels and houses of Chris- 
tians had been burnt down. The railway, too, between 
Tientsin and Lofa was torn up in several places and the 
bridges wrecked. Near Yangtsung particularly, where, as 
we have seen, large numbers of Imperial soldiers were en- 
camped, the damage to the line was greatest, and had in all 


probability been carried out by those very same soldiers 
who were sent ostensibly to protect the railway. The work 
of destruction had, it is now ascertained, been carried on 
by direct order, and under the supervision of Chinese 

Unable to keep open the communication, running short 
of ammunition and provisions, the w'ater of the wells 
poisoned by corpses of men and animals thrown into them, 
and advance being absolutely impossible — to say nothing 
of the probability of being cut off — it was decided that, in 
the circumstances, it would be wise for the expedition to 
return to Tientsin, 

Nothing of importance happened on June 15, 16, and 17, 
the time being spent in foraging and clearing villages of 
Boxers. The villages were burnt down, wherever the at- 
titude of the natives was hostile. 

The following day (i8th), at Yangtsun, the Germans 
captured a number of Imperial junks carrying off railway 
materials. The trains that were up at Lanfang were on 
their way back to Yangtsun, wdien, shortly before three in 
the afternoon, they were attacked by Boxers, who, for the 
first time, were supported by some 6,000 Imperial troops. 

The fight was a very hard one, the Chinese soldiers being 
armed with modern Mauser and Mannlicher rifles, with 
Vvhich, however, they merely fired at random, or the Allies 
would have suffered more than they did. The Boxers, too, 
on this occasion had been armed (evidently by the Govern- 
ment) with similar rifles of precision, which, fortunately, 
they did not know how to use. They all fired too high, 
evidently unaccustomed to the use of our sights when ele- 
vated, and when they drew nearer forgot to lower their 

sights, firing consequently much too high to inflict serious 
Vol. I.— 7 


damage on the Allies. Had the troops, too, been drilled in 
as efficient a way as they were armed escaf>e would have 
been impossible for the armoured trains of the Allies. The 
regular troops, it is true, fired considerably better than the 
Boxers, but to the Boxers must be given the credit of bear- 
ing the brunt of the battle, for they were made to advance 
first. The fighting continued sharp till 5 p.m., when the 
Chinese retreated in confusion. Their loss was stated to 
amount to some 500 killed. 

The casualties of the Allies were 6 killed (2 British, 3 
Russian, i German) and 60 wounded, of whom 30 were 
British, 20 German, and the rest Russian. 

The situation was getting critical for the Relief Expedi- 
tion, as it was impossible to proceed; communication was 
altogether cut with Tientsin, and the railway was now de- 
stroyed on either side of the force. There remained but 
one thing to do, and that was to abandon the trains and 
march back to Tientsin along the river bank, conveying 
provisions by water. It was not possible to take more than 
three days' half-rations. 

The morning of the 19th and the greater part of the af- 
ternoon were employed in preparing for the march back, 
and at 4 p.m. the British force, with three 9-pounder field 
guns and several Maxims and machine-guns, followed by 
the Austrian and Japanese, also with field guns, headed the 
column on the return march. Lieutenants Colomb and 
Farie were with the 9-pounder guns, and the Centurion 
and Endymion's contingents had charge of the machine- 

The march was at first without incident, and the night 
passed quietly. The next evening (20th) it was not till 
towards eight that the Chinese Imperial troops were sig- 


nailed as approaching — others, either Boxers or Regulars, 
were entrenched in a position commanding the river and 
in a village. 

The British 9-pounders and the American 3-inch guns 
opened a well-directed fire with shrapnel at close range. 
It seemed to prove too hot for the enemy. After a few 
minutes' accurate firing their volleys became wild and care- 
less, and they retired from their trenches and village, so that 
an hour later the AUies were able to continue their march. 
Sniping caused the Allies some slight casualties. 

Another village, reached shortly after ten o'clock, and 
expected to be full of Chinese troops, was attacked by the 
Allies, the French and Americans occupying the advance, 
and the British proceeding under cover of the river bank. 
The British 9-pounders poured shrapnel into the village 
from the first, but it was not till four o'clock in the after- 
noon that the enemy retreated, leaving behind a handsome 
Hotchkiss I -pounder, with which their gunners had made 
quite creditable practice. From under cover they con- 
tinued firing upon the Allies until these were well within 
the village. 

From the 14th to the 20th, while these developments were 
taking place up the line, Tientsin itself, notwithstanding the 
promises of protection given by Chinese officials, was in a 
sorry plight. It seems incredible, but is nevertheless true, 
that, even at this critical moment, the British Consul in 
Tientsin had apparently not yet realised the farce that was 
being played by the Viceroy of Tientsin and other Chinese 
officials. He seemed to have taken seriously all that they 
chose to tell him, and even sent to Lord Salisbury the fol- 
lowing telegram, comments on which are not needed : 

" Tientsin, June 15. The native city is practically in the 



hands of the Boxers and the mob, who have burnt down the 
chapels, and compelled Chinese officials to get out of their 
chairs in the streets. 

" The action of the Viceroy has been very correct (sic). 
Communication with the Admiral is cut off. The situation 


is more serious than he is aware of. A portion of the Rus- 
sian troops still remains in this place." 

It is evident from the Consul's own words, that if the 
Russians deemed it necessary to detain their troops in 
Tientsin — and we shall see later what a godsend it was that 
they did so — there must have been a reason for it. Russian 
officials knew better than to report to their respective Gov- 
ernments in such eulogistic terms of the Viceroy's conduct. 


It will also be interesting in a later chapter to glance at the 
documents found after the fall of Tientsin, in the Viceroy's 
Yamen, which do not bear out the British Consul's infor- 

The comedy is completed by Lord Salisbury's reply to 
our Consul in Tientsin : 

" You should inform the Viceroy that it is open to him 
to take refuge on one of her Majesty's ships in the event 
of his considering himself in danger " ! 

Lord Salisbury, nevertheless, was not the person to blame 
in the affair, for he acted on the information of servants of 
the nation, whom it was his duty to trust. Indeed, he 
showed a noble heart and much thoughtful consideration 
for the official whom he supposed pro-foreign — a consid- 
eration which could not have been more misplaced. 


Firing in the direction of Tientsin — The Pei-tsang fight — Under 
heavy fire — Captain Jellicoe mortally wounded — Four hours' 
hard fighting — Tientsin hard pressed — Hampered by wounded 
— Short of ammunition and food — A Chinese feint — The Allies 
in a trap — The storming of a fort and arsenal — An unsuccess- 
ful attempt to open communication with Tientsin — The Chi- 
nese gallantly endeavour to recapture their lost position — 
Captain McCalla — The death of Captain Beyts. 

The anxiety of those in command of the Relief Expedition 
was not lessened by the fact that for the last two days con- 
stant firing had been heard in the direction of Tientsin, 
particularly early in the morning- and in the afternoon. 

On June 21, shortly after the Allies had started on the 
march, the Imperial troops were seen to convey their guns 
to the village of Pei-tsang, which is intersected by the road 
to Tientsin. Then, at a quarter-past eight in the morning, 
a mass of Nieh's cavalry came into action, while the Chinese 
from Pei-tsang began to shell the position of the Allies. 
The enemy had apparently measured the range beforehand, 
and made very good practice^ especially when firing at the 
junks, which were easy targets. The Chinese fire was the 
most severe to which the expedition had so far been sub- 
jected, and the behaviour of all the men alike, whether 
British, Russian, Japanese, Italian, French, German or 



Austrian, was admirable in every possible way. The 
9-pounder guns were placed in position, and kept up an 
accurate fire on the enemy. An advance was made on the 
village under the rattling fire of the Maxims from the 
Endymion and the American 3-inch gun, using shrapnel. 
The enemy was driven away, and retired to the next vil- 


lage of Pei-tsang proper, a short distance ofif, where the 
Chinese had made trenches, which they held with dogged 

In the advance, while the Russians and Germans were 
marching at the extreme left on the opposite bank of the 
stream, the Allies were exposed to a heavy fire. Unhappily 
the brave Flag-Captain Jellicoe, of the Centurion, was mor- 
tally wounded, while Lieut. Bamber, two midshipmen, and 
ten men sustained more or less serious injuries. It took 
the Allies four hours' hard fighting to enter the village of 


Pei-tsang, the ground having to be conquered inch by inch. 
The Chinese were in the meantime heavily shelling the Al- 
lies as they passed through the village, and as with one or 
two exceptions they used smokeless powder, our gunners 
could not succeed in placing and silencing field pieces. 
When darkness began to set in, the actual fighting ceased, 
but firing continued spasmodically from the Chinese all 
through the evening. 

Hampered by the many wounded, depressed at the news 
that Tientsin settlement was hard pressed and unable to 
despatch help; with ammunition running short, and. the 
enemy getting more formidable every hour; tired and 
hungry, the Allies left camp soon after twelve, under cover 
of the night. 

June 2.2. Matters went fairly well until sunrise, when 
several volleys were fired at the expedition by the Chinese 
from the left bank of the Pei-ho. This was no doubt an 
expedient on their part to mask their actual position, and 
the Allies, who had been unable to carry on a successful 
system of scouting, walked unawares into a trap laid by the 
enemy. The advance guard and main body of the Expedi- 
tion marched gaily into the ambush, and were suddenly 
confronted by a deadly rifle and artillery fire from four 

Two parties, one of German marines, the other British, 
crossed the river almost simultaneously to occupy a posi- 
tion commanding the Chinese forts, and at half-past six a 
bayonet charge, led by Major Johnstone, was made upon 
the fort which had fired on the Allies. The marines and 
their leader showed great pluck in carrying the fort and 
seizing five most excellent modern guns, with plenty of 
ammunition. The Chinese soldiers, who had fought quite 


well under cover, fled at the approach of the marines, and 
at close range made no kind of stand. With considerable 
smartness the British and German marines turned the newly 
acquired guns upon the retreating enemy, and inflicted 
much damage on them. 

In the Arsenal were found quantities of Mauser and 
Mannlicher rifles and Winchester carbines, with masses of 
ammunition of German, American, and Chinese manu- 

An endeavour was made to open the line of communica- 
tion with Tientsin by sending a force of 120 marines, under 
Captains Beyts and Doig, guided by Currie, the Allies in 
the meantime holding the forts, which afforded good pro- 
tection, and in which there was ample ammunition to make 
an effective defence against attack. The small party 
started in the morning. 

The Chinese, 6,000 strong, returned early in the after- 
noon, and made a fierce attempt to recapture the position 
which they had lost in the morning. They rushed the forts 
and Arsenal with astounding and unexpected determina- 
tion, and poured a heavy shell-fire into the forts with their 
artillery — one well-manned gun, in particular, mounted on 
the railway line, only a mile ofif, causing the Allies much 
discomfort and some damage. 

After two hours' resolute and really business-like fight- 
ing, the Chinese, who had made several gallant rushes to 
recapture the forts, were repulsed, routed, and hotly pur- 
sued. The Allies, who killed many, set on fire the neigh- 
bouring villages, which might have afforded protection to 
the enemy. 

Much comment was, as usual, aroused among critics at 
home by the exaggerated report that in this engagement 


the Allies had killed the Chinese wounded " wholesale." 
Some of the wounded were, in fact, killed, but only in cases 
of absolute necessity. For instance, men, seemingly dead, 
suddenly rose treacherously to stab officers and men from 
behind, and naturally had to be shot in self-defence. 

Among the many wounded on the Allied side was the 
American Captain McCalla, of the Newark. Captain 
Bucholtz, of the Kaiserin Augusta, was killed. 

From sunset to sunrise nothing happened, but with the 
first rays of light the Chinese opened a well-directed fire on 
the forts. Along the defences of the Allies men were con- 
stantly falling. During the night the party that had started 
for Tientsin returned, having met with severe opposition 
from Boxers and troops in overwhelming numbers. Cap- 
tain Beyts, to whose gallantry no sufficient tribute can be 
paid, and three men, had been killed, while two others were 


Two quiet days — Harassing the enemy — A dust-storm — Signals 
of distress — The use of newly acquired guns — Foreign troops 
sighted — The relief force relieved by Colonel Shirinsky — Re- 
moving the wounded — International brotherly feeling — An 
appalling number of wounded — Back in Tientsin — What the 
men thought of Admiral Seymour — Seymour's tribute to his 

June 23 and 24 were two quiet days, which the Allies 
employed in fortifying their defences and harassing the 
enemy by means of the 4-inch guns and a one-pounder 
captured in the Arsenal, while the Germans worked the 
splendid Krupp guns — ex-property of the Chinese — which 
had now been mounted on the earthworks of the forts. 

An attack on the part of the Chinese was feared, but 
never came off. Hardly a shot was fired by the Allies on 
the 24th, and no Chinese were seen. The heat was intense, 
and a dust-storm blew fiercely during the whole day; thanks, 
however, to quantities of rice and other provisions which 
had been found in the stores of the Arsenal, and to the 
fresh supply of excellent weapons and ammunition of the 
latest and most perfected pattern, the force could now have 
held out for several days. One thing only hampered the 
plucky defenders in the Wuku Arsenal, and that was the 
great number of wounded, for whom but scanty medical 


aid could be procured. Part of the Arsenal, in the most 
protected spot, had been cleared to be turned into a hos- 
pital, but naturally there were no beds and no sufficient 
medicaments; bandages, &c., were sadly wanting, the de- 
mand having been much greater than could at first have 
been anticipated. 

Partly by signals of distress, consisting of coloured lights 
at night, and by means of a messenger who managed to 
reach Tientsin, reinforcements were asked for to relieve the 
distressed Expedition. 

On June 25, after another reposeful night, the Germans 
shelled the enemy's position with one of the newly acquired 
8.7 centimetre guns. Soon after 7 o'clock, two thousand 
Chinese were seen to advance along the line, but did not 
attempt an attack on the fort. On the contrary, they 
seemed to be retreating in good order before an approach- 
ing enemy. In fact, foreign troops were sighted at 7.40, 
and in the Wuku fort every heart bounded with joy as the 
news spread like wildfire that relief was at hand. 

An hour or so later the two forces joined, amid the fran- 
tic hurrahs of relievers and relieved. 

The Relief column was commanded by one of the bravest 
of Russian officers — every inch a hero — Lieutenant-Colonel 
Shirinsky, and consisted of four Russian companies and an 
equal number of marines and soldiers of other nationalities, 
including three companies of Welsh Fusiliers. 

This force, which liberated Seymour and his magnificent 
men, had started in the middle of the night on receiving the 
messages of distress. They entered the Wuku fort at 
9.30 A.M. 

The day was taken up in removing the wounded across 
the Pei-ho, disabling the guns that could not be carried 


away, smashing rifles, and destroying by fire the several 
buildings in the fort, with the stores and ammunition there- 
in accumulated. 

It was deemed advisable to camp on the opposite bank of 
the stream, and proceed to Tientsin early the next morning. 
The evening, comparatively speaking, was a joyous one, 
and soldiers and sailors of all nations chummed together 
in a most friendly way. If such brotherly feelings could be 
maintained between soldiers of the various great Powers, 
the long-wished-for ideal — the peace of the world — would 
doubtless be assured for ever. 

The combined force, conveying the wounded, moved at 
sunrisfe of the 26th towards Tientsin, where they arrived the 
same morning before noon. Sir Edward Seymour and his 
brave men, whose fate had caused no small anxiety to the 
foreign residents, were, as well as their liberators, frantically 
greeted on entering the Tientsin settlement in safety; but 
the enthusiasm changed into gloom and sadness at the sight 
of the appalling number of wounded — 238 in all — who were 
being carried into the town. 

Yes, indeed, the casualties had been enormous. Here is 
an accurate list : 

Killed: British, 2^]; American, 4; French, i; German, 12; 
Italian, 5; Japanese, 2; Austrian, i; Russian, 10. 

Wounded: British, 97; American, 25; French, 10; Ger- 
man, 62; Italian, 3; Japanese, 3; Austrian, i; Russian, 27; 
or in all 62 killed and 238 wounded. 

I asked several officers and men of all nations, who were 
with Seymour, what was their opinion of the Commander- 
in-Chief on that unfortunate expedition. I never found 
one man who was not proud to have served under him. 
Whether Russian, French, Italian, German, or British, they 


all spoke with admiration and almost veneration of the Ad- 
miral, whose courage, astounding coolness in liioments of 
danger, perspicacity, and kindly manner towards his subor- 
dinates, made him esteemed and revered by one and all 
alike who had the privilege of serving and fighting under 
him. From first to last he enjoyed the absolute confidence 
of all his officers and men. No better compliment could 
be paid him. 

On the other hand, the following note which he wrote 
to the men of the ill-fated expedition shows his personal 
feelings towards them : — 

" Tientsin, July 3, 1900. 

" I desire to express to the ofificers, seamen, and marines 
comprising the late expeditionary force towards Pekin my 
high sense of satisfaction with their general conduct therein, 
during a time which comprised much discomfort, hard 
work, and want of food and water, with little rest and de- 
cided anxiety, in addition to the dangers of war. 

" The above were encountered with a zeal, patience, 
courage, and cheerfulness worthy of the noble service to 
which we belong. Similar trials may be before us, but will, 
I know, be borne as the above were. 

" At the same time I wish to express to the officers and 
men lately employed in the defence of Tientsin, and to those 
engaged in the operations about Taku, including the capt- 
ure of those forts, my thorough satisfaction with all 

" The defence of Tientsin has been carried out with much 
risk and fatigue, constantly harassing those employed, but 
met with the true naval spirit. 

" The capture of the Taku forts was a brilliant affair, well 
planned and well carried out; success, as not unusually. 


crowned very gallant and daring efforts. I congratulate all 
concerned therein. 

" It is my pleasing duty, and that of the Rear-Admiral in 
my absence, to convey the above to their lordships at the 
Admiralty, and it will be known generally in England. 

" To me, personally, the fine conduct of those belonging 
to the British China Squadron is a matter of special pride 
and pleasure, and I have no misgivings but that, whatever 
is before us, we shall if possible do better rather than other- 
wise, and uphold the traditions of the British navy, 

*' E. H, Seymour, 



Developments at Taku and Tientsin — A strong Chinese force 
advancing on Taku — A council of Admirals convened on board 
the Rossia — Mines and torpedoes laid at the mouth of the 
Pei-ho — A defensive attitude to be adopted by the Allies — The 
Taku forts the key of the position — Japanese to guard the 
railway station — A second council on the Rossia — Prince Tuan 
— Chinese friendliness regarded with distrust by naval com- 
manders — Remonstrances — The Governor of Chili com- 
manded to hand over the Taku and Tong-ku forts — Chinese 
refusal — Plans for an attack — Big ships of the Allies — 
Gunboats up-stream — Mines laid across the bar — The U.S.S. 

While the Seymour expedition was being checked up 
country in their attempt to reach Pekin, other important 
developments were taking place, both at the mouth of the 
river Pei-ho and in Tientsin. 

A force of Chinese Imperial troops, about 2,000 strong, 
was advancing on the Taku forts, and it was reported that 
Imperial troops were concentrating in the neighbourhood 
of this stronghold of the Chinese, evidently with the object 
of offering a stout resistance to the landing of any more 
Europeans — a resistance which, if successful, would place 
foreigners in Pekin and Tientsin in a very precarious posi- 
tion. In view of the serious events of the murder of the 
Japanese Chancellor of Legation, and of the appointment 


of Prince Tuan, the leader of the Boxers, as Commander- 
in-Chief of the Chinese troops in China, and of three other 
Manchus, equally strong in their anti-foreign views, as Min- 
isters of the Yamen, a council was convened (on June 15) 
by the Senior Naval Officer, Vice-Admiral Hildebrant, on 
board the first-class cruiser Rossia, to consider the situation. 

Evidence was produced at this council, not only that the 
Chinese were preparing for a hostile demonstration towards 
the Allies, but also that they were already attempting to 
destroy the railway between Tientsin and Taku, and had 
been observed to lay torpedoes and mines at the mouth of 
the Pei-ho. It was resolved that in order to preserve com- 
munication with Tientsin, prompt steps must be taken to 
safeguard the railway and to protect Europeans in the set- 
tlement. It was further resolved that a strictly defensive 
attitude must be adopted by the Allies in carrying out the 
above resolution, and that they should refrain to the last 
from taking the offensive, unless absolutely compelled to 
do so by an attack on the part of the Chinese, in which con- 
tingency an endeavour would be made to seize the forts, 
and render the enemy incapable of inflicting any damage 
upon our ships. 

The Taku forts were the key of the position, if hostilities 
should break out in North China. 

It was also decided that 300 Japanese marines should be 
at once conveyed to Tong-ku, to guard the railway station. 

Matters were getting worse every moment, and another 
council on board the Rossia was summoned the following 
morning (the i6th) at eleven o'clock. It was fully demon- 
strated that, as far as words went, the Chinese Government 
gave ample assurance that order and law should be main- 
tained in the country, and the lives of foreigners and their 
Vol. I.— 8 


property protected; but that when it came to facts foreign- 
ers were murdered in various parts of the country and their 
houses looted and burned. Even foreign officials in the 
capital itself were actually assassinated by soldiers of the 
Imperial army, while chapels, churches, mission-houses, and 


the property of Europeans had been or were in danger of 
being destroyed, even in Tientsin. 

The Chinese Government had nominally raised no objec- 
tion to the co-operation of foreign Powers in suppressing 
the Boxer movement, but, practically, every help and as- 
sistance in the shape of arms, ammunition, food, and clothes 
were given to the supposed rebels. 

The very fact that the principal supporter of the Boxers, 
Prince Tuan, and three other anti-foreign Manchus, had 
now been placed at the head of affairs was significant 
enough, and quite justified the distrust with which the 
Naval Commanders regarded the ostensibly friendly deal- 
ings of the Chinese. 


No doubt upon this point could be left in the minds of 
the Allies when Imperial soldiers were observed laying tor- 
pedoes to obstruct the mouth of the river. Remonstrances 
were made, with no result. No alternative was left to the 
Admirals but to request the Governor of Chili and General 
Lo Yung Kwang, who commanded the Taku and Tong-ku 
forts, to hand over the stronghold to the Allies. Owing 
to the warlike preparations of the Chinese, only a limited 
time was allowed the Chinese General to evacuate the forts, 
and he was warned that, failing his compliance with their 
request by 2 a.m. the next day (the 17th), the Allies would 
make a combined attack on his position. 

Some offtcers, accompanied by a skilful interpreter, called 
on the Chinese General and fully explained to him how 
matters stood, but the Chinese held fast and refused to 
evacuate the forts. In the meantime thousands of soldiers 
coming from Shan-hai-Kuan were seen entering the 

A council was held on board the Russian gunboat Bobr, 
at which the plans for an attack on the forts were carefully 
studied, and that same afternoon (the i6th), at three o'clock 
parties from the various ships were landed, in order to storm 
the forts from the land if necessary. 

There were 350 British bluejackets and marines under 
Commander Cradock, of the Alacrity; 150 Russian soldiers 
of the Siberian and Orient Regiments; 130 German sailors, 
commanded by Captain Pohl; 50 Austrian sailors; 25 Italian 
sailors, commanded by Lieutenant Tanca; and 230 Japa- 
nese sailors, led by Captain Hattori. 

The big ships of the Allies were some miles outside the 
Taku bar, while H.M.S. Algerine, Fame, and Whiting (the 
Algcrine flying the Admiral's flag), had previously pro- 


ceeded up the river and taken up a position off the North 

The two Russian gunboats, Bobr and Giliak, were near 
the dockyard in the bend of the river, and the German gun- 


boat, litis, the French gunboat, Lion, and a Japanese gun- 
boat were at Tong-ku. 

These six gunboats had gone uj>-stream and had landed 
a party of Russians and Germans on the south bank of the 
river, while a party of British and Japanese had been landed 
on the opposite bank. Four Chinese torpedo-destroyers 
(built in Germany) were lying alongside the Taku govern- 
ment dockyard. 

All these gunboats had steamed up the river in the morn- 
ing and afternoon of the i6th, a curious incident taking 
place before they were despatched to their destination. 

A number of junks came from the Taku fort and uncon- 
cernedly laid mines across the bar. The Whiting (a twin 
screw torpedo-destroyer of 360 tons), in fact, in getting over 
the bar, touched one of these mines, which, however, did 
not explode. 

There was no disguising the fact that the Chinese were 
preparing for a fight, so at 6 in the afternoon the residents 


and refugees in Takii and Tong-ku received orders that 
within one hour they must embark for safety on the U.S.S. 
Monocacy. She was lying, well sheltered, near the coal- 
heaps of the railway wharf, and probably the forts would 
be bombarded during the night. The position of this old, 
rickety, paddle-wheel, wooden American gunboat was con- 
sidered quite safe, and she could not be struck, in a direct 
line, from any of the Chinese positions — at least, so every- 
body believed. 


Shifting the moorings — The Koreets suffers heavily — Com- 
mander Wise — A position of absolute safety — The Whiting and 
Fame capture four Chinese torpedo-destroyers and convey 
them to Tong-ku — A 5-inch shell — Gunboats fare badly — The 
United States at peace with China — Admiral Kempff refuses 
to join in the attack of forts — A strange coincidence. 

After dark, the several gunboats up-river, except the 
Russian, took the precaution of shifting- their moorings. 
At 10 P.M. the Algerine, Fame, and Whiting steamed up the 
river to just below the Russian gunboat. This was fort- 
unate, for at a quarter to i a.m. of the 17th, the forts hav- 
ing during the day carefully trained their guns on the gun- 
boats up-river, opened a terrific fire on their presumed 
positions, the only boat suffering heavily being the Russian 
Koreetz, which had disregarded the precaution taken by the 
others. She received the full fire of one of the Chinese bat- 
teries at a range of 400 yards, and in the bombardment her 
crew lost sixteen killed, including four officers, and forty- 
five wounded. 

On the bridge of the Monocacy stood her Commander, 
Wise, cheering and encouraging the women and children 
swarming the decks, and who all the same felt some appre- 
hension at the hissing and bursting of shells — fortunately 
high over head. He and his officers reassured the refugees 


and convinced them that the ship lay in a position of abso- 
lute safety, when, much to everybody's surprise, and for 
some unaccountable reason, she was hit by a shell that cut 
right through her bows. 

The Whiting and Fame, at the beginning of the engage- 
ment, steamed down to the Taku dockyard, each towing 
down a w^haler with ten men. The French Lion and the 
German litis also 
went down the 
river t o support 
the other gunboats 
and the Algcrine. 
The Whiting and 
Fame did very 
smart work, and 
captured the four 
Chinese torpedo - 
destroyers. The 
Chinese crews 
made a weak- 
hearted sort of de- 
fence, firing a few 

pistol and rifle shots while bolting on to the wharf and run- 
ning for their lives. Once under cover in the dockyard, 
and supported by soldiers, they opened a rapid fire on the 
British crews of conquering and conquered vessels. A few 
shots from the destroyers' guns put a stop to the annoyance. 

The Whiting and Fame conveyed the captured destroyers 
to Tong-ku, and it was there that the Whiting was badly 
hit by a 5-inch shell, which penetrated her coal-bunker and 
did considerable damage to No. 4 boiler and tubes. The 
damage, nevertheless, did not prevent her steaming up- 



river, to shell the forts, and protect with her quick-firing 
guns — of which she had six — a steamer with provisions 
bound for Tientsin. 

The other gunboats of the Allies also fared badly. The 
litis was struck by eight shells. Her Commander, Lanz, 
lost one leg. One officer and six men were killed, nine 
wounded. The Lion was struck once and set on fire. She 
had one man killed and forty-six wounded. The Giliak was 
hit four times, once below the water-mark, and had to be 
run aground; eight men were killed, including two officers, 
and forty-six wounded. The Koreetis received five shells, 
one of which set her on fire, and had five killed and twenty- 
one wounded. The Bobr had one man wounded. The 
Japanese Atago did not take part in the fighting as she was 
laden with ammunition and provision for the Allies, while 
the Kagero, also flying the flag with the Rising Sun, steamed 
round (outside the bar) and kept a sharp watch upon the 
Chinese second-class cruiser Hai-yuen, flying the Admiral's 
flag. The Chinese cruiser, however, showed no inclination 
nor desire to participate in the hostilities. She was de- 
tained by the Allies. 

The U.S.S. Monocacy took no part in the fighting, nor did 
the Americans take any active part in the attack on the 
forts. Rear-Admiral Kempfif, of the U.S. Navy, informed 
Rear-Admiral Bruce that he was not authorised to initiate 
any act of war .with a country with whom his country was 
at peace; both by regulations and under recent instructions 
from both the department and from the Commander-in- 
Chief of the U.S. Naval force on the Asiatic station, he was 
confined to protecting American interests. 

Consulted by officers of the Allies regarding the decision 
to hold the railway station at Tong-ku (in order to keep 















open the communication with Tientsin), in case any Chinese 
Government force acted 
against the force of any 
foreign nation, so that all 
should be involved and act 
unitedly; Admiral Kempff 
refused to agree to it with- 
out special authority, as 
the railway was under 
Chinese Government con 
trol. The Admiral w'ouUi 
therefore not join in the 
attack on the forts. Com 
mander Wise, of the Mon- 
ocacy, had orders to protect 
American interests, based 
upon department orders, 
but he was to consider any 
attack by the Chinese Government forces as a declaration 
of war, and act accordingly. 

Although Commander Wise attended the council meet- 
ing on the 1 6th, on the Bobr, he did not sign the protocol 
and ultimatum to the Chinese Commandant of the forts and 
to the Viceroy of Tientsin, therefore the Monocacy was left 
out of the plans and places for vessels of the attacking 

Curiously enough, although well out of the line of fire, 
between the forts and attacking vessels, the American ship 
was almost the first to be hit by a Chinese shell ! Com- 
mander Wise, in his official report, attributes the passing 
of shells near him, or bursting about or beyond, to " wild 
firing by the forts." Possibly the Monvcacy was hit for the 
same reason. 



A fierce cannonade — ^The range — Chinese magazine blown up 
— The storming party — Advance in parallel columns — Skir- 
mishing order — Smartness of the Japanese — The gallant Cap- 
tain Hattori killed — A pathetic incident — The first to enter 
—The North-West Fort— The capture of the North Fort— The 
British flag first — The South Forts holding out — Every fort in 
the hands of the Allies — The Russian flag — The humours of 

A FIERCE cannonade was kept up on both sides, the gun- 
boats having moved during the bombardment to the bend 
of the river, which was considered the best position from 
which to shell the forts. The ranges at which the gunboats 
fired were from four hundred yards to two and a half miles, 
according to the positions occupied during the bombard- 
ment. The firing continued without intermission till half- 
past four, when there was a terrific explosion, by which 
even the most distant of the ships was shaken and sent 
rattling. A shell had blown up one of the Chinese 

It had been prearranged that shortly before daybreak 
the storming party was to meet on the river bank opposite 
the Algerine at the last bend of the river. A further num- 
ber of men were landed from several ships, and at dawn 
the force was ready and comprised 200 Russians and 
















































r— 1 


2 ? « 

H K-j' <; »-] rH (M 


Austrians, forming the advance, 380 British and Italians, 
the main body, and 300 Japanese the reserve and support 
in the rear. 

The advance was in the first instance begun in parallel 
columns, but the Chinese fire was well directed, and so hot, 
that it became impracticable to proceed in that formation. 
Skirmishing order was then adopted. 

Towards dawn the guns of the North-West Fort were 
sufficiently silenced to permit the approach of a storming 
party. The British and Italians fought side by side, leading 
the attack, and supported by contingents from other na- 
tions; but it appears that this advance was somewhat im- 
peded by the heavy ground. 

The Russians, who were under the heavy fire of the Chi- 
nese, progressed slowly. The Japanese, occupying the 
rear, now came up with two field pieces, and joined in the 
final charge. Captain Hattori leading his men with remark- 
able bravery. Indeed, the little fellows were now at the 
head of the attacking force, having come up by the road 
giving access to the fort instead of by the swampy ground. 
The Chinese were still holding on with great tenacity, and 
keeping up a heavy fusillade. A bayonet charge was neces- 
sary to drive them out of their position. Captain Hattori, 
at the head of his men, rushed the fort, followed by the Brit- 
ish and Italians. Captain Hattori himself, a most gallant 
officer, was shot dead when only a few yards from the para- 
pet; but Lieutenant Shiraishi, a young man of equal pluck 
and determination, took immediate command, and led the 
men on. 

The Chinese were driven off. A pathetic incident took 
place. A Japanese sailor had climbed to the top of a flag- 
staff to put up the flag of the Rising Sun, when, unluckily, 


a Chinese bullet brought him down and killed him. Had it 
not been for this mishap, the Japanese flag would have been 
the first to fly on the fort; as it was, the British was hoisted 
immediately by the single halyard of the flagstaff. 

There can be no doubt, however, that the Japanese, im- 
mediately followed by the British and Italians, were the 
first to enter the fort, and sufficient praise cannot be given 
them for their bravery and military skill. 

The North- West Fort was now used by the Allies against 
the North and South Forts, the Japanese remaining in 
charge of it, while the British and Italians, under heavy shell 
fire, proceeded to capture the North Fort. The Germans 
took part in this attack, and occupied the right of the ad- 
vance, while the British, Italians, and Austrians were on the 
left, the British leading. The two parties charged simul- 
taneously, and carried the fort. The British flag was 
hoisted first. 

There now remained the forts on the south side of the 
river, which were still holding out with determination, and 
the most northern of these South Forts, directly at the 
mouth of the river, was the next point of attack. The 
captured Chinese guns in the North Fort (on the north side 
of the river) were immediately trained by the British and 
Austrians on the Chinese position opposite. The shelling 
from this fort, combined with that of the gunboats in the 
river, se6med to have a discouraging effect on the Chinese 
officers and soldiers, who had so far manned their guns with 
extraordinary ability and coolness. In the forts already in 
possession of the Allies a great number of Chinese soldiers 
had been found killed round the guns, others having evi- 
dently immediately taken the places of such gimners as were 
killed. The well-directed shells of the gunboats did great 



execution upon the garrisons — armless, legless, and head- 
less bodies being found everywhere in the forts. Under 
such appalling fire from the Allies, there remained nothing 
for the Chinese to do but run. Their big guns were soon 
silenced by those of the British, Germans, and Japanese. 


At the appointed time the gunboats came up to ferry the 
various attacking contingents across the Pei-ho. Unfortu- 
nately, the Germans stuck in mid-stream, but the British 
and Italians crossed over and charged the forts, the British 
marines leading. A gun was worked upon the retreating 
enemy, who were now utterly demoralised. 

The flag of Great Britain, with that of Italy, flew gaily 
over these forts too, and by 6.30 a.m. the stronghold of 
China, " the impregnable Taku forts," was in the hands of 
the Allies, after a fight of five hours and three-quarters. 

When the forts had all been captured it was decided that, 
to avoid confusion, the Japanese should hold the North 
Fort by themselves, while the British and Italians should 
occupy the North-West Fort, and the Russians and Ger- 


mans the extensive South Forts. The Russian flag was 
flying with the German on the South Forts, and in the Navy 
Yard and Docks. 

War is not without its humorous side. A party of Rus- 
sians and Germans had landed on the south side on a recon- 
naissance. The Germans, on foot, were left to guard a 
bridge, while the Russians, on horseback, continued their 
reconnoitring expedition. The Germans waited for some 
hours, faithfully holding the bridge, but, not perceiving the 
Russians, concluded that they were not coming back, so 
duly proceeded to blow up the bridge previous to retiring. 

During the night, the Russians, overwhelmed by a su- 
perior force of Chinese, fell back on the bridge — or rather 
on its absence — and had to swim with their horses across 
the stream under the pelting bullets of the Chinese. 

" Why the deuce did you destroy the bridge? " was the 
angry query put by the Russian to the German officer when 
he next met him. 

" Why not? " calmly replied the German. " I thought 
that you Russians all knew how to swim." 

" And how to swear too ! " retorted the witty Russian. 

It all ended in a hearty laugh, and no one seemed any the 
worse for a good ducking. 

The Russian casualties during the attack were probably 
heavier than those of any other nation — eighteen killed and 
forty wounded. The Japanese reported five killed and four 
wounded, out of a contingent of one hundred men more 
than the Russians. Captain Hattori, as we have seen, was 
among the slain. 

The British had only a few men slightly wounded. 

The Allies lost that night forty-six killed in all — six of 
whom were officers — and had one hundred and seventy 


Captain Stewart of the Algerine — Lieutenant-Commanders 
McKenzie and Keyes — Commander Lanz of the litis — German 
shells for German ships — Excellent practice of Chinese 
gunners — Inside the forts — A characteristic letter — The 
journey by water from Taku to Tientsin — At Tong-ku — 
Cossacks — Columns of black smoke. 

The behaviour of Captain Stewart, of the Algerine, and 
Lieutenant-Commanders McKenzie and Keyes, all three of 
the British Navy, v^^as magnificent, and elicited admiration 
from all sides. 

Commander Lanz, too, of the German gunboat litis, be- 
haved heroically at the attack, receiving a severe wound in 
the leg, and twenty-five other small wounds from splinters 
of shell and wood. The litis herself, a gunboat of 900 tons, 
was hit by seventeen shells and one shrapnel. It was evi- 
dent, from the number of shots which struck her funnel, 
that the Chinese were striving hard to send a shell through 
her boilers. This they also tried to do with other gun- 
boats, as we have seen in the case of the Whiting. Curious- 
ly enough, according to an interview with Captain Lanz, 
published in Japan, it appears that all the shells that hit the 
litis had been made in Germany, and were fired from Krupp 
guns, of course of German manufacture. 

The Chinese soldiers made excellent practice with their 
Vol. I.— 9 


guns, especially at the beginning of the fight, and their rifle 
fire was also accurate, until the Allies got to close quarters. 
Possibly they had previously measured the distances along 
the river, a course which greatly helped them in obtaining 
the accurate range. 

The outward appearance of the forts was not much 
changed by the battle, for the effect of the shells on the 
earthworks could not be distinguished except on close in- 
spection. On entering the forts, the case was somewhat 
different; the various buildings, sheds, cannon — everything 
was wrecked and smashed, and every place was filled by 
the mutilated bodies of men and horses, gashed in a fearful 
manner. Rifles, spears, swords and drums, and thousands 
of cartridges, full and empty, lay about on the ground. The 
dead bodies were invariably found thickest near the big 

The effect of the shelling from the gunboats was appall- 
ing. Although the forts fell in a few hours, the officers 
present in the fight were unanimous in their praise of the 
unexpected way in which the Chinese had defended them- 

It is only fair to publish part of the official report written 
by Commander Wise, of the Monocacy, to the United States 
Admiral Kempff. 

The letter is perhaps somewhat vague in its construction, 
and thoroughly characteristic in its American save-time 
style. It is pleasant to notice that, whatever the orders 
from their Government in the matter of co-operating in the 
engagement at Taku, the feelings of the United States 
officers themselves on the gunboat did not differ from those 
of all the other officers of the Allies. 


" I was able to render the following assistance : 

" First. A party of thirty-seven ladies and children, 
refugees from the mission at Taku, who had fled hurriedly 
on the notification of the bombardment. They came 
aboard last night at 9 p.m., and are still with me. 

" Second. Also came two of^cers of H.M.S. Barflcur, 
who had come down from Tientsin too late to get any 
English ship. 

" Third. As I was coming down river at 6 a.m., an Eng- 
lish torpedo-boat towing a Chinese boat prize. I had not 
a small boat to make a landing, so I sent the launch to run 
her line ashore, for which thanks have been returned. I 
have taken on board and had surgical attendance for the 
following: a Japanese soldier, with a gunshot wound; a 
Chinese coolie, found close to the ship with arm torn ofif by 
fragment of shell; a Russian soldier, with wound in the 

" This place is deserted by every one; no trains, no tele- 
graphic communication on shore; but I had a 'phone from 
Mr. Pottengill, who reports all quiet since first disturbance. 
I know nothing of the fight, except that the forts were 
taken. I feel a natural regret, shared no doubt by the offi- 
cers, that duty and orders prevented the old Monocacy from 
giving her ancient smooth-bores a last chance. 
" Very respectfully, 
" F. M. Wise, Commander U.S. Navy, commanding. 

" To the Second in Command, 

U.S. Naval Forces on Asiatic Station." 

The journey by water from Taku to Tientsin was safe 
enough, except that the people along the banks were con- 
tinually sniping at the tugs, and that on nearing Tientsin 


occasional shells burst on board. On one occasion a shell 
burst in the stomach of a poor bluejacket, who was peace- 
fully talking to a friend, with the result that, when the 
smoke vanished, there was not much left of the stomach 
nor of the friend. 

The steam tugs plying between the two places were fur- 
nished with a Maxim or a Colt Automatic gun, which was 
freely used on the Chinamen when any came in sight. 

The trip up the Pei-ho was at no time a pleasant one 
between the uninteresting, flat, muddy banks, of something 
in colour between a ghastly raw sienna and a dirty grey. 
To the lack of beauty in the scenery was now added the 
profusion of dead bodies, swollen to double their normal 
proportions, and in a state of advanced decomposition, 
which were floating down the river or had stuck in the mud 
close to the banks. Dogs were tearing away at them, fight- 
ing among themselves over the human meal. It was not a 
pretty sight, and made some people quite sick. 

At Tong-ku itself, the Pei-ho was alive with craft of all 
kinds — gunboats, torpedo-boats, tugs, confiscated lighters 
and junks — while the banks of the river swarmed with sol- 
diers and sailors of all nations. The Japanese, the British 
and Americans presented a very smart and business-like 
appearance, and the little fellows of Nippon being fitted 
out in the most perfect manner. The Russians had landed 
in great numbers. One could not help being struck at first 
sight by the excellent condition of these extraordinarily 
sturdy men. Both officers and men impressed one as be- 
ing fellows with whom it would be preferable to be at peace 
rather than at war, but in good manners and politeness, too, 
they were second to none. 

All the way up to Tientsin one saw squads of Cossacks 


riding their ponies with characteristic long-stirruped sad- 
dles, and they seemed to take special delight in setting vil- 
lages on fire, especially when the Chinese deserved it, as in 
one particular case which came under my observation. 

The Chinese, who were being kindly treated, were cow- 
ardly enough to murder two Russian officers who were pur- 
chasing food from them, and whose bodies they afterwards 
mutilated. A party of Cossacks was sent out at once to 
raze the village to the ground, a proceeding which cannot 
fairly be blamed. The Russian knows only too well that 
diplomatic representations to the Chinese are mere non- 
sense, as indeed is the case with regard to almost all Asiatics. 
Force and fear are the only things that count. 

As we steamed up the river, high columns of black smoke 
rose everywhere, on the right bank of the stream especially, 
whole villages flaring up, set in flames by the Chinese or the 
Allies. It w^as a sight of heartbreaking desolation, yet it 
was nothing to the spectacle that lay before us when we 
reached Tientsin settlement. 

What a sight! Houses destroyed by fire, others still 
burning, others again in ruins. Walls and roofs pierced by 
shells; doors and windows shattered; every street along the 
Bund and the Bund itself barricaded with sand-bags, bales 
of cotton and wool, and furniture piled up high to serve as 

There was no Chinese coolie to help one on with one's 
luggage on landing, and the new-comers, while struggling 
to land their heavy baggage, had the additional excitement 
of being sniped at by Chinese from the other side of the 
stream. I do not think the Chinese were ever known to 
hit anybody in the course of this particular amusement of 


The walled native city and the foreign concessions — The rail- 
way station — The mud wall or " Sankolin's Folly " — Detring 
and Dickinson's houses and the racecourse — The North Fort 
— The East Arsenal and the Military College — Mounds of salt 
— The Viceroy's Yamen — The West Arsenal — The Hsiku " or 
Siku " Arsenal — Landmarks — The Gordon Hall — The arrival 
of Russians — A failed attempt to communicate with Seymour 
— The native city in the hands of Boxers — A threatening 

Let us see now what took place in Tientsin at the same 

A short description of the place, and of the position of 
its various parts which will be referred to in the narrative, 
may help the reader to understand what occurred. 

The walled native city was of a rectangular shape, the 
sides of the rectangle running respectively from north to 
south and east to west. The Foreign Settlements and Con- 
cessions were about two miles south-east of the native city, 
and consisted of a large French Concession along the south 
bank of the Pei-ho River, with the British Settlement south- 
east of it, still along the west of the river, and the Extra 
British Concession south of the French Settlement. 

To the east and north, on the opposite side of the stream, 
were a number of native houses and some large and impor- 


tant buildings. Principal of all was the Railway Station, 
with its commodious engine-house and workshops. 

The German Settlement adjoined the British. 

There was an almost continuous succession of native 
houses between the native city and the Foreign Settle- 
ments, especially on the south-east and nearer the river; 
while on the west there w-as much open ground and large 
patches of water, even within the famous mud wall, or San- 
kolin's Folly, wdiich in an irregular fashion surrounded the 
native city, all the Settlements, the Railw'ay Station, the 
North Fort, and also a long stretch of the Pei-ho River, 
with the Grand Canal stretching west and the Lutai Canal 
to the east of the Pei-ho. 

This mud wall, about 10 feet high, 10 feet broad on the 
top, and 30 at the base, was built by the Chinese to protect 
the city and Settlements during the time of the Tae-ping 
rebellion. As will be seen by the adjoining sketch-map, 
the mud wall at its nearest point was only a few yards from 
the Settlements, and on that side extended almost in a 
straight line, the direction of which was roughly north-west. 
The American Consulate, almost the last house in the Ex- 
tra British Concession, was situated only about 350 yards 
from the wall, where the naval guns were subsequently 
mounted for the defence of the Settlement. 

Messrs. Detring and Dickinson's houses, as well as the 
Racecourse itself — which will often be mentioned at the 
beginning of the siege — were outside the mud wall. 

The North Fort, built by Li-hung-chang, w^as outside the 
native city, on the north bank of the Pei-ho, near its junc- 
tion with the Grand Canal, and the next fort still further 
north, at the point where the Pei-ho feeds the Lutai Canal. 
The East Arsenal was two miles outside the mud wall, and 


the Military College was also immediately beyond the wall, 
to the south of the Foreign Settlements. 

One of the most curious features of Tientsin was fur- 
nished by the huge mounds of salt along the water, which 
were under the control of the Salt Commissioner, and were 
used with much success by the Chinese as cover. 

Near the North Fort, directly outside the city, but sep- 
arated from it by the canal, was the Viceroy's Yamen, 
reached by a quaint bridge, like those familiar to us on china 

The West Arsenal, or Joss-House Arsenal, lay west of 
the Settlement, and due south of the native city. Between 
the Arsenal and the city were a great number of Chinese 
graves and earth mounds, of which the Chinese took ad- 
vantage, digging trenches in addition for further protec- 
tion; and the extensive graveyards north of the Railway 
Station, on the opposite side of the stream, were used by 
them in the same way. 

The Hsiku Arsenal, partly destroyed, as we have seen, 
by Admiral Seymour, was north of the city, and some dis- 
tance outside Sankolin's Wall. 

To the south and west of the Settlement were large tracts 
of comparatively open country. I say comparatively, for 
there were Chinese houses scattered here and there, and a 
few miserable villages, which afiforded good shelter. 

The gasometer, the Water-Tower, and the Cathedral 
were landmarks to the visitor in Tientsin, as well as to the 
Chinese artillerymen; and in the Settlement itself, on the 
Victoria Road, one could not help being impressed with 
the massiveness — if not the beauty — of the Gordon Hall, 
erected in memory of the great and beloved General. It 
was the tallest building in Tientsin, and, like the gasometer 



and the church, made, as we shall see, a capital target for 
the Chinese guns. 

The streets in the British Settlement ran at right angles 
across the Victoria Road, the course of which was parallel 
to the Bund along the Pei-ho. 

Let us now go back a few days, to see what took place in 


Tientsin while the Seymour Relief Expedition was fighting 
up country, and the Taku Forts were being captured by the 
combined forces of the Allies. 

On June 11, 12, and 13, everything was quiet enough 
in Tientsin. The tug Pennacc arrived with two Maxims, 
and on the 14th a guard with these two guns was placed 
on Temperance Hall. Seventeen hundred Russians with 
field guns came up by train the same day, and a patrol train 
was run to Tongku and back by the Russians to safeguard 
the railway line. 

An attempt, which failed, was made to communicate with 


Admiral Seymour, and great concern was felt at the serious 
turn matters were taking. A rumour was current in Tien- 
tsin that the Empress had ordered the Legations in Pekin 
to be burned on the i6th, and the inmates to be massacred. 

It was not, however, till Friday, the 15th, that things be- 
came lively. The native city was practically in the hands 
of the Boxers, who were destroying chapels and killing 
Christians, while the Government was causing additional 
alarm by concentrating large numbers of Imperial troops 
near Tientsin and Taku. 

The Russians, who were to join Seymour, were request- 
ed, since the moment was so threatening, to remain in Tien- 
tsin, to protect the Settlement. It was lucky that they did 


An interesting letter — Mormon habits — Chinese prophesies — 
Proffered hospitality declined — An armed train to proceed to 
Yangtsun — Shelling of the Settlement by the Chinese — The 
enemy repulsed — Attack on the Military College — A gratifying 

At 3.30 A.M. the alarm was given, and what happened after- 
wards is told in the quaint and interesting letter here ap- 
pended, written by a Chinaman who had apparently been 
educated in Europe or America. His education had evi- 
dently not included the suppression of Mormon customs. 

The letter was found lying on the floor of a deserted 
house, and had not been posted : 

Tientsin, May 20 (Chinese). 

" My dear Wife, 

" If you were here last night you would have been 
scared to death. At about eleven o'clock last night the 
Boxers set fire to several dififerent places, four of which are 
small chapels, and at the same time they attacked the Tien- 
tsin railway station. Fortunately the Russian troops went 
across the river opposite the Railway Station and fought 
with them. Their fight caused the Boxers fort\'-five killed 
and many wounded. The dead bodies are still lying about 
the Tientsin Station. At about half-past one a.m. this 
morning the Boxers gave another fight to the foreign 


troops very near my house, but the troops drove them off 
after firing several big guns at them. It is said by the 
troops that more than four hundred Boxershad been killed 
last night and this morning. Sixteen of the Boxers have 
been caught alive and are now in the Russian camp opposite 
the railway yard. I expect another fight to-night. All are 
frightened to-day, and nearly all of my neighbours have 

moved to-day to for safety, where there are enough 

English soldiers for protection. 

" My Canton wife has gone there too, with others. I 
do not know whether they have space enough or not for 
sleeping, as I see the rooms in are already overcrowd- 
ed. Our woman-servant went home at two o'clock this 

afternoon, and and myself are at home to look after 

my things. Nearly all the natives have run away. All the 
shops in Tze-Chu-Cin stopped business, and their doors are 
closed. Cooks ran away, and many foreigners have to suf- 
fer hunger because no native boys are willing to stay in the 
settlement. A tub of water costs ten cents, and a rickshaw 
from here to the Railway Station costs half-a-dollar ! 

" The Tientsin Station is safe, but only special trains run 
to Tong-ku and back to-day. It makes one sorry to see 
the sudden change of Tientsin. The market is totally 
stopped, and it is very hard to find a coolie to carry things. 
I am glad I have not the least fear, as the troops are fully 
prepared to fight with the Boxers. I do not know yet how 
the change will be to-morrow, but I can almost assure you 
that the foreign settlement is safe. I shall write you again 
to-morrow night about what may happen. Don't be 
anxious about me, as I am O. K. here and will do what is 
safe. Some one tried to go down to Shanghai to-day, but 
no train could take them down to Tong-ku, and there are 


only steamers outside the bar, as all the merchant ships 
have been ordered to leave the wharves. I shall do my 
best, and if possible go to Shanghai; but I think the affairs 
will be quiet in a few days. Be careful of your health, and 
do not worry about me. 

" Your loving husband, 

" Y. F. Hg. 
" Written 8.40 p.m., 20th May, 26th year of Kwang Su." 
(Corresponding to June 15, 1900.)* 

Our Mormon Chinese friend was not absolutely right in 
his prophecies, although quite correct in his account of past 
events. Perhaps he purposely understated the truth so as to 
avoid unnecessarily alarming his unspecified wife. 

As we have already seen, Mr. Carles, the British Consul 
in Tientsin, had cabled to Lord Salisbury that the Viceroy's 
conduct had been very correct, and much telegraphing took 
place from London to offer shelter on board a British man- 
of-war to the Viceroy in token of gratitude, if he deemed his 
life in danger. Whether of his own will or by compulsion, 
he abstained from accepting the proffered hospitality. 

On the 17th, at six o'clock, an armed train with a repair- 
ing party, unaware of Seymour's plight, proceeded towards 
Yangtsun in order to repair the line. They were first en- 
gaged by the Boxers, then fired upon by Imperial troops, 
and eventually had to beat a retreat. In the afternoon, at 
three o'clock, began the shelling of the Settlement by the 
Chinese, who did considerable damage. 

Attacks were ma^e from different points, but the enemy 
was repulsed. It may be noted that in the morning of the 

* The dashes in the text represent names of places and people 
written in Chinese characters in the original letter. 



same day (at 2 a.m.) the Taku and Tongku forts had been 
taken by the AlHes. 

An attack on the Military College was successfully carried 
out by 175 men (British, Germans, Italians, and Austrians), 
who made short work of the defenders, and destroyed the 
premises, with its rich store of ammunition, rifles, and guns. 


It is most gratifying to find in Mr. Carles' despatch to 
Lord Salisbury of June 21 the following passage: 

" The behaviour of the Russians, who were throughout 
the day engaged in various quarters, was splendid, and their 
large force and heavy field guns, of which they had four, 
saved the situation. During the day (June 17) all (nation- 
alities) were engaged on their respective sections. The fol- 
lowing is the list of casualties : Russians, 7 killed, 5 
wounded; British, i killed, 5 wounded: Italians. 2 wounded; 
Germans, i killed." 


In the evening the Chinese made another bold but un- 
successful attack, with the object of seizing the pontoon 
bridge leading to the Station. They lost heavily. One of 
their Generals was reported killed in this engagement. 

Vol. I. — 10 


A heavy attack on the Station — Chinese daring — A joint move- 
ment of British and Russians — A gallant attempt to seize two 
Chinese guns — Captain Seattle's bravery — To the relief of 
Tientsin — A stubborn resistance — Held in check — Mutilated 
Americans — Casualties — Tientsin relieved — The force landed 
— Unfounded statements — At Taku — Captain Warrender and 
the transport arrangements — A protocol on board the Rossia — 
Captain Wise in control at Tongku — Captain Bayly in com- 
mand in Tientsin — ^The Admirals and the Shanghai Consuls. 

Another armed train was being got ready to start on the 
1 8th, with 600 Russians and one 6-pounder. There was a 
heavy attack upon the Station, which was held by the 
Russians, and it was not till 3 p.m. that an advance from 
it was possible. The Chinese, who were eventually 
driven back, had showed great daring, forcing their way 
under the trucks, and holding their own with surprising 
tenacity. The French took part in this operation, but were 
at first unable to cope with the enemy, and had to retire till 

The Allies lost three killed and twenty-two wounded. 

In the forenoon of Tuesday, the 19th, the British went 
across the river in a joint movement with the Russians. 

Captain Beattie of the BarHcur and 200 bluejackets made 
a gallant attempt to seize two Chinese guns which had been 



placed at the two wliite houses, where the mud wall is 
crossed by the railway to Tongku. These guns did no end 
of damage to the Settlement. The British, with their plucky 
leader, got ahead of the Russians, and reached within a 
short distance of the Chinese guns, when they were met by 


a most appalling cross-lire which forced them to retire; but 
on the arrival of reinforcements the position was trium- 
phantly carried, and the enemy with their guns driven back. 

Captain Beattie, although twice wounded, continued with 
great bravery to lead his men to the last, but the day cost 
the British five officers and thirteen men wounded. Among 
them, besides Captain Beattie, were Lieutenant Sterling, 
Midshipman Donaldson (since dead), Lieutenant Wright of 
the Orlando, and Lieutenant Powell. 

On the 20th the Chinese amused themselves by throwing 
shells into the Settlement and sniping across the river. 
Their firing was unpleasantly accurate. 

June 21. Heavy shelling and sniping all day, otherwise 
very quiet. 


While the Settlement was intermittently shelled, several 
large detachments left Takti, on the 22nd, to relieve Tien- 
tsin. They pushed on by rail as far as possible, nearly half- 
way, and then marched on foot, the British and Americans 
on the right, the Russians and Germans to the left. 

On nearing Tientsin they met with a stubborn resistance 
from the Chinese, and the Russians and Germans, who tried 
to force their way with great determination, lost heavily. 
One company alone had ten killed and twenty wounded, 
including Lieutenant Friedrich. The Allies were held in 
check the whole night, being exposed to a well-directed fire 
from the yet uncaptured Arsenal, north-east of the Settle- 

Two Americans who were killed were shockingly muti- 
lated by the Chinese, and an American gun was 'captured. 
In a future chapter will be seen how the Chinese soldiers 
were specially rewarded for this by the Viceroy of Tientsin. 

The killed and wounded of the Allies amounted to 224. 
Whether because the Chinese had concentrated their forces 
on the east in order to impede the advance of a relieving 
force, or for some other reason, the Settlement was fairly 
quiet on the 23rd. There was practically no shelling, and 
very little sniping. 

The force reached the Settlement in the morning, and 
relieved Tientsin. 

The British contingent, 570 strong, consisted of blue- 
jackets and marines, under Commander Cradock, and Royal 
Welsh FusiHers,-under Major F. Morris. Seventy men were 
sent in two companies to occupy the Chinese College, but on 
arriving there found it in flames, and the force returned to 
barracks. This event practically marked the relief of Tien- 
tsin Foreign Settlement, but the Chinese troops and Boxers 



remained in possession of tlieir walled native city and forts, 
whence they continued to shell the European Concessions, 

The force which had been landed was: Americans, 335; 
Austrians, 26; British, 570; French, 421; Germans, 1,340; 
Italians, 138; Japanese Naval Brigade, 602; troops, 1,050; 
Russian Naval Brigade, 235, troops, 3,500. Two thousand 
one hundred more Japanese and one French 
battalion of infantry, with one battery of 
artillery, were expected to arrive at Taku 
on the 25th and 26th. 

The Russians had previously to this 
landed about 4,000 men in all, and Germany 

It is a great satisfaction to be able to 
denounce as unfounded the statements 
constantly circulated that friction and 
jealousy were rampant among the various 
Admirals and Commanders of the Allies. 
There existed absolutely nothing of the 
kind, the Allied Admirals working in most 
perfect accord, as officially reported to the 
Admiralty by Rear-Admiral Bruce on June 23. The Rus- 
sian Vice-Admiral was Senior Officer, and the council of 
Admirals had control over all the operations. 

On land at Taku, a Russian Major-General, with a Ger- 
man second in command, and Captain Warrender, of H.M.S. 
Bariieur, were in charge of the operations from Taku for 
the relief of Tientsin. The general control of the operations 
was entrusted to a Russian Major-General. while the mail 
and telegraph were organised by J. E. Sainsbury, of the 
U.S.S. Monocacy. 

Captain Warrender was subsequently entrusted — and no 



better man could have been selected — with all the transport 
arrangements by river from Taku. In this he was assisted 
by William F. Cullman, assistant-paymaster of the Terrible. 
At a meeting of all the Admirals on board the Imperial 
cruiser Rossia, a protocol was signed, under the presidency 
of the Senior Vice-Admiral Hildebrant, by which: 

1. Admiral Wesselago was placed in command of the 
Taku forts, with the assistance of Commodore KirshofT and 
the naval forces. 

2. Captain Wise, of the U.S.S. Monocacy, was given con- 
trol, in the town of Tongku, of all the buildings, the Railway 
Station, the water supply, rolling-stock, &c. In this charge 
he was to be assisted by an ofificer from every nation for the 
purpose of transmitting orders to whatever detachment 
might be using the Station. 

In case of attack it was stipulated that the forces present 
at Taku should support one another, and all should be under 
the orders of Admiral Wesselago. 

Pilot Webster was to be paid the sum of 200 dollars a day 
and expenses for his services, which were found indispen- 
sable to vessels crossing the bar and others moving up river. 

The protocol was signed by the following Admirals and 
Vice-Admirals: — J. Hildebrant, Bendeman, H. Togo, Cour 
Jolles, KempfT, James Bruce, C. Casella. 

In Tientsin, Captain Bayly, of the Aurora, was the Com- 
mander of the defence of the Settlement, assisted by Captain 
Burke, of the Orlando. 

The doyen of the Consuls in Shanghai had wired to the 
Admirals to send down at least four men-of-war for the pro- 
tection of foreigners. The British Admiral, at a meeting. 








1— t 






remarked that the presence of five Chinese cruisers did not 
naturally mean that a warlike demonstration was intended 
there any more than at Chefoo, where Chinese men-of-war 
were peaceably moored. 

The Admirals then decided that it was not possible to 
satisfy the wish of the Shanghai Consuls. Each Admiral 
undertook, however, to write to the Consul of his own coun- 
try the following comforting letter, which, to the minds of 
these plucky sailors, was no doubt calculated to quiet all 
apprehension, if any existed: — 

" After attending a meeting of the Admirals I answer your 

" We will send some ships when we can. In the meantime 
take all possible precautions, so that if danger arises your 
families and yourselves may not be taken by surprise."* 

* " Apres la reunion des amiraux je reponds a votre demande. Nous 
enverrons des na\ires des que nous le pourrons. En attendant prenez 
toutes les precautions possible pour que le danger, s'il eclate, ne sur- 
prenne ni vos families ni vous," 


The assurances of the Viceroys and Governors of the Southern 
Provinces — A memorial — Denouncing the Boxers — In the 
interest of the Empire — Stringent measures needed — On the 
verge of a great calamity — Worried and alarmed. 

More reassuring to the Consuls and the foreign commu- 
nity than the message of the Admirals must have been the 
assurances given by the Viceroys and Governors of the 
southern provinces, as well as the Imperial High Commis- 
sioner of the Yangtze valley, in the following memorial 
wired by them to the Throne* on June 22. It is significant 
that Li-hung-chang's name does not appear among the 

The memorialists are Li Pingheng, High Commissioner 
of the Yangtze; Liu Kunyi, Viceroy of the Liang Kiang; 
Chang Chih-tung, Viceroy of the Liang Hu; Lu Chuanlin, 
Governor of Kiangsu; Wang Chihchun, Governor of An- 
hui; Sung Shou, Governor of Klangsi; Yu Yin-liu, Gover- 
nor of Hupeh; and Yu Liensan, Governor of Hunan. 

" Telegrams from various countries show that the cruel 
massacres committed by the Boxers will surely call down 
vengeance upon China. If they are not quickly put down 
the Powers will certainly be angry. Advices from Japan 
show that if this is done quickly there is still time. We are 

* Specially translated for the Shanghai Mercury. 


deeply grieved at the reports that the capital is in danger. 
The Boxers, under the pretence of exercising magic, are 
inciting the people to join them in rebelling against the 
Government. In reality their claims are nonsense, as it is 
impossible to resist firearms. Practices of this sort were 
forbidden in the thirteenth year of the reign of the Emperor 
Kia-Ching [1796-1809]. Then, if these men were really 
patriotic people of Chihli, how is it that their leader, Li 
Laichung, is a native of Shensi? This proves that they are 
but seditious people, and that they ought to be suppressed. 
They have disobeyed the Imperial orders to disperse, and 
have instead murdered Chinese and foreigners outside of 
Pekin, and forced the Imperial High Commissioner to kill 
the magistrates of Lai-sui and Hsin-ching. As they pay 
no attention to the laws, they are rebels, and therefore 
should be suppressed. The characters which they place 
on their flags, saying ' Assist China to exterminate foreign- 
ers,' are but pretences, such as have been used by the secret 
societies in different provinces in times past. If they really 
claim to assist the Government, how is it that they disobey 
the Imperial orders? Now, to the north, east, south, and 
west of Pekin, for nearly a thousand li [330 miles], there 
are thousands of these people, who are forcing the inhab- 
itants to supply them with food. The people in these dis- 
tricts are not all Christians, yet hundreds of them have had 
their homes burnt, and have themselves been maltreated or 
killed. There is famine and drought in the districts about 
Pekin this year, and yet the people are forced to keep these 
hordes. Therefore they ought to be suppressed. They 
have damaged and destroyed the Government telegraphs 
and railways to the value of several million taels. They 
have obstructed the transmission of Imperial decrees and 


memorials. They have delayed the movements of the Im- 
perial troops, they have destroyed countless native and 
foreign houses outside Pekin, and in many other ways they 
have shown that they are but robbers, and should be sup- 
pressed. They are not content with having forced the 
country into war with the foreign Powers, but they must 
damage foreign property, and even kill the Chancellor of 
the Japanese Legation. In every respect they deserve 

" Now, in consequence of all this, Taku has been taken 
by the foreign Powers, thousands of foreign troops have 
been landed at Tientsin, on the road to the capital, and 
more are pouring in daily. This shows that the danger is 
very pressing, so much so that the time for words is but 
short. It must be borne in mind that no country which 
is in the hands of rebels has been able to stand as a coun- 
try, nor does history give us an example of a country which 
has been able to preserve its status when it has gone to war 
with several nations at the same time without just cause. 
The Boxers are unarmed and undisciplined, and have re- 
peatedly been defeated by the Imperial troops, both in 
Shantung and Chihli. Recently they have been defeated 
by the foreign soldiers in Lofa and in Tientsin Settlement, 
and many of them killed. It will be seen that they can 
never stand against firearms and shells. It is impossible 
for such undrilled, unarmed, and unled mobs to face foreign 
troops for a moment. 

" Therefore we humbly pray your Majesties, the Em- 
press-Dowager and the Emperor, to bear in mind the in- 
terests of the Empire and vigorously to decide to do what 
is right, regardless of the unmeaning words which may be 
spoken by designing persons, and immediately to issue 


edicts ordering the severe punishment and extinction of the 
Boxers, to prevent the Imperial troops from making fur- 
ther trouble, and to relieve the anxiety of those residing in 
the Legations by informing them that there is no intention 
of going on with these troubles. Inform them that Li- 
hung-chang has been ordered up to settle matters with 
their respective Governments, and request them to order 
that hostilities cease; then it will be possible to turn to the 
Boxers and put them down. We also pray that Imperial 
edicts be sent by wire to the Ministers of China in various 
countries, apologising for the past troubles; and let it be 
known that a large gratuity will be bestowed for the mur- 
der of the Japanese official. Then issue edicts informing 
the people that the Government takes all responsibility for 
the protection of foreign lives and property, and order the 
officials throughout the Empire to take stringent measures 
for the protection of foreign merchants and missionaries. 
This will appease the anger of the foreign countries. We 
shall then be able to put affairs in the Empire upon a good 
footing. At present the country is on the verge of a great 
calamity, and a few days' delay may mean the breaking up 
of the country, and then it will be too late. On account of 
this we are all much worried and alarmed. 

" Presented by the joint memorialists, who are all of the 
same mind, with the utmost respect and submission, pray- 
ing that it may receive your august sanction without 

(This was sent by the memorialists to General Jung Lu, 
W'ith the request that he would deliver it, and transmit the 
answer to the signatories.) 


A satisfactory proclamation — For the preservation of order — 
A tangible agreement with foreign consuls — Confidence in 
provincial governments — Manufacturers of news and insur- 
gents — Merchants and peaceful people to be protected. 

A FEW days later, on July 3, the satisfactory Proclamation 
hereunder was further issued by their Excellencies Chang- 
chih-tung, Viceroy of the Hukuang, and Yu- Yin-Liu, 
Governor of Hupeh. 

" Chang, Viceroy of Hukuang, and Yu, Governor of 
Hupeh, hereby issue the following joint proclamation, in 
obedience to an Imperial decree commanding all Gover- 
nors and Viceroys of provinces to take measures for the 
safety and good order of our several jurisdictions. 

" The disturbances of outlaws in the north have brought 
about war with the various foreign Powers, causing the 
hearts of the people to be excited and endangering the 
public peace. 

" The Viceroy and Governor therefore desire it to be 
known to all that they have since received Imperial de- 
crees dated respectively June 25 and 26, saying that the 
Imperial Government will continue its best endeavours to 
protect the Legations of the various Powers in Pekin, while 
the various Viceroys and Governors of provinces are re- 



quired to co-operate together and as opportunity offers 
safeguard the territories under their respective jurisdic- 
tions. The Viceroy and Governor have therefore decided 
to obey the above decrees in this instance, and have co- 
operated with his Excellency Lu, the Viceroy of the Liang 


Kiang provinces, with regard to the protection and preser- 
vation of order in our respective territories. 

'* We have all agreed upon a carefully-worked-out plan 
of mutual co-operation for the complete protection of all 
the eastern and southern provinces, and have moreover 
mutually arranged with the Consuls of the various foreign 
Powers that while the Admirals of the various Powers do 
not enter the Yangtze River with their fleets, we will guar- 
antee the safety of all foreigners and foreign property in 
the inland provinces, all of whom and their belongings will 


be under the special care and protection of the local authori- 
ties, who will use their best efforts to preserve the peace. 
This has since been telegraphed to the Throne and entered 
in the records. It must be further understood that these 
arrangements have been entered into and mutually agreed 
upon with the special object of safeguarding the land and 
the protection of the lives and properties of the masses. 

" There is no better plan than the above. 

" Apprehending, however, that all this is not known to 
our people, and that opportunities may be sought for by 
local outlaws and evil-minded people amongst our subjects 
to create riots and disturbances, thereby endangering our 
peaceable relations with foreign countries and the general 
order of affairs, we hereby hasten to issue this special proc- 
lamation for the information of everybody. And be it 
further known to all, both soldiers and common people, 
that the present disturbances and fighting were really be- 
yond the calculation of the Throne, as may be seen in the 
Imperial decree above quoted, commanding the officials of 
Pekin to protect as usual, by every means in their power, 
the foreign Legations in the capital, while the Viceroys and 
Governors of provinces are required to observe as well the 
current treaties and protect all foreign settlements and 
churches. All these have as their special object the pres- 
ervation of the usual order of things. 

" Now, as the various Powers are willing to confide the 
safety of their subjects and their various properties to the 
provincial governments, and foreign fleets will not disturb 
the peace of the Yangtze, it follows that all the inhabitants 
and merchants living in the vicinity thereof can continue 
as usual their daily avocations in perfect peace and quiet 
without fear of being touched or disturbed, while on the 


other hand local outlaws and ruffians will not be afforded 
the opportunity of taking advantage of power, &c., in 
breaking the peace. The benefits to be derived from the 
arrangements of the high provincial authorities for the pro- 
tection of the riverine and inland cities, and the safeguard- 
ing of the Hves and property of all our people, are so great 
that we feel sure that nobody will be so foolish as lightly 
to seek occasion for breaking the peace, and people will 
then also be able to act in accordance with the wishes of 
the Throne in preserving the present order of affairs. It 
should be all the more the duty of the gentry and the elders 
of the cities, tow-ns and villages, to impress all this on the 
minds of the people under them, for in it alone lies the 
safety of the lives and property of all, and the preservation 
of the integrity of our country. 

" We therefore hereby declare that after the posting of 
this proclamation, should anyone be found (and w^e have 
devised means to make strict inquiry into it hereafter) man- 
ufacturing news, thereby exciting the masses to collect into 
mobs for the purpose of attacking any foreign settlement 
or church, such offenders will be dealt w-ith and sentenced 
to suffer the same penalties as await insurgents and mem- 
bers of revolutionary societies. Should it be discovered 
that outlaws are gathering for the purpose of creating 
disturbances and rebellions, we have ready for such great 
masses of troops who will instantly attack such outlaws and 
show no mercy to them. Finally, if soldiers or yamen 
runners be found creating any disturbance and oppressing 
the people, complaints should be made to the authorities, 
who will see to it that the disturbers of the peace be dealt 
with to the full extent of the law. We are determined to 
protect our merchants and people from harm, so that they 


may pursue their daily avocations as usual, that the land 
may enjoy peace and quiet, that the commands of the 
Throne may be obeyed and the integrity of the Empire 
preserved. Let all tremblingly obey our proclamation. 
Beware how you disobey. 

Chang, Viceroy of Hukuang Province. 

Yu, Governor of Hupeh Province. 
Kuchang, July 3, 1900." 

No news was reaching Tientsin from Taku, in spite of 
all the efforts made to communicate with the fleets. The 
anxiety was necessarily very great, and messengers could 
not be obtained for love or money to bring messages down. 
Some that had gone had never come back. They had been 
seized by the Chinese and killed. Mr. James Watts, a 
young Englishman, volunteered to ride down to Taku with 
despatches, and having a thorough knowledge of the coun- 
try started at night with three Cossacks. By making a 
long detour the small party reached their destination in 
safety, occupying some twelve hours on their way. The 
bravery of this act and the service which he rendered to the 
community cannot be over-estimated, and it is to be hoped 
that the Government will see its way to reward Mr. Watts 
as other foreign Governments have long since done. 


More Russian reinforcements — Much shelling and little damage 
— Chinese segment-shells — To the relief of Seymour — Dis- 
astrous to furniture — An interesting collection — The Wei-hai- 
wei Chinese regiment — A note from Sir Robert Hart — 
Lieutenant-Colonel Shirinsky the liberator of the Seymour 
Expedition — The capture of the Pei-Yang Arsenal — The 
arrival of Japanese troops — Junks seized — A laconic message 
from Sir Robert Hart — An extraordinary consular advice — 
The answer it deserved — The arrival of Vice-Admiral Alexieflf 
— International forces landed — Field and machine guns — The 
projected advance on Pekin — A proposal to Japan — Germany 
— The situation discussed — The Maxims in action. 

More Russian reinforcements arrived in Tientsin on June 
25 with General Stessels, who effected a junction with Ani- 
simoff. Although the Settlement had been continually 
shelled by the Chinese, comparatively little damage had been 
done, except in the French Concession, which was a mass 
of ruins. The British and American Consulates suffered 
slightly, only a few shells finding their way through the 
walls or the roof. It was noticed that only about 25 per 
cent, of the Chinese segment shells exploded. The rest 
were fired without being charged. 

At half-past eleven in the evening, all the bluejackets 
available, of every nationality (except, of course, barrack 
guards and guns' crews), together with the marines and 
four companies of Russians, commanded by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Shirinsky, set out to relieve the Commander-in- 

Voi.. I.— II 




Chief, who had been reported hard pressed in the Arsenal 
at Wuku, which he had captured. 

The 25th passed quietly. Only a few shells dropped into 
the Settlement, and were disastrous to furniture, if not to 

human life, as may 
be judged by the ef- 
fect of one of them 
on a chest of draw- 
ers in the house of 
Mr. Gammon, of the 
American Bible 
Society. The other 
photograph shows 
the variety of shells, 
whole and iri pieces, 
bullets, cartridges, 
and weapons, collected by Mr. Gammon in and around his 
house during the siege. 

The Wei-hai-wei Chinese Regiment arrived, a smart, 
business-like lot of men, doing great credit to Colonel 
Bower, who raised the regiment, and to the able oflticers who 
assisted him. 

A note from Sir Robert Hart was received by Mr. Drew, 
the Commissioner of Customs, saying that the Legations 
had been notified to leave Pekin within twenty-four hours. 
The letter was dated June 19, at 4 p.m. 

On Tuesday, the 26th, Lieutenant-Colonel Shirinsky re- 
turned, escorting back to Tientsin the Seymour force, which 
he had liberated. Their many wounded, their suffer- 
ings and heavy fighting, have been recorded in previous 

The British marines and ist Chinese Regiment went out 



on the 27th to support the Russians in taking the Pei-Yang 
Arsenal, north-east of Tientsin. Chinese shells kept drop- 
ping into the Settlement, and some excitement was caused 
by the arrival of a 
number of Japanese 

During the four 
days following, 
28th, 29th, 30th, 
and July ist, noth- 
ing of great im- 
portance happened. 
The wounded from 
the Endymion were 
sent down to Taku, 
and the Alacrity's 
men returned to 
their ship, while 
800 more Japanese 

Some time and 
much energy were 
spent in seizing and clearing out junks to be used for 
transport purposes, and in organising means to supply 
the necessary w-ants of the community, both military and 

By this time the people had got so much accustomed to 
the spasmodic bombardment that they hardly took any 
notice of the shelling, which none the less caused daily 

Many strange things occurred on June 29. First, a 
laconic message from Sir Robert Hart was brought in by 

IN MR. gammon's house 


a messenger from Pekin, addressed " To the officer com- 
manding any European troops." 

" Besieged in British Legation. Situation desperate. 
Make haste. Sunday, 4 p.m., R. Hart." 

The last two words were doubly underlined, and followed 
by notes of exclamation. The preceding words were under- 
lined once. The courier who brought the message stated 
that the date referred to- Sunday, June 24. 

More extraordinary than the above message, but probably 
caused by it, was the decision taken at a Consular meeting, 
when the Consuls unanimously agreed to suggest to their 
respective countries that the Chinese Government should be 
informed that, in case the persons of the foreign Ministers 
were touched (in Pekin), the mausoleum of the (Manchu) 
dynasty would be destroyed by the European troops.* 

When such suggestions are seriously made by our Repre- 
sentatives, sensible people cannot wonder that the Chinese 
hold us in absolute contempt. Lord Salisbury promptly 
replied that the threat appeared very unlikely to have any 
effect upon mutinous soldiery or a riotous mob, and that the 
British Government felt unable to sanction a measure which 
would be so offensive to European opinion. 

On the following morning, the 30th, Vice-Admiral 
AlexiefY, Governor-General of Port Arthur and Liao-tung 
province, Commander-in-Chief of all Russian forces in the 
East, arrived at Taku, and proceeded at once to Tientsin, 
where he made his headquarters in the beautiful house of Mr. 
Batouefif, next to the American Consulate. 

The International forces landed up to June 30 were: 

* See telegraphic despatch, Consul Carles to Marquis of Salisbury, 
Tientsin, June 29, 1900. Correspondence respecting Insurrectionary 
Movement in China. H.M. Stationery Office. (Harrison & Sons.) 











. 20 

. 12 


. 17 . . 

• 44 • • 

• 7 



Total . 







The Allies had in all fifty-three field guns and thirty-six 
machine guns. The desirability of sending a second and 
stronger column to relieve Pekin was felt in many quarters, 
but, with all the possible reinforcement expected, the force 
would scarcely reach 20,000 men, and this number was 
hardly sufficient to hold the base from Taku to Tientsin. 
An advance on Pekin could not be effected until further con- 
tingents were sent for, and it was calculated that at least a 
month would pass before it could be possible to start to the 
relief of the besieged Legations in Pekin. 

Besides, there still remained Tientsin native city to be 
captured before the Allies could proceed further. 

The Japanese Government was sounded at this point as 
to its willingness to despatch at once a force of twenty or 
thirty thousand men which they had ready, but the Japanese 
behaved with great caution and diplomatic skill in the 
matter, evidently not wishing to be involved in any com- 
plications with Russia, Germany, or any other nation inter- 

Eventually such an expedition ceased to be required, 
England having decided to despatch 10,000 men from India, 
and Germany to despatch a force consisting of a horse field 
battery, a detachment of pioneers, and the ist and 2nd Ma- 
rine battalions, while two reserve battalions were to be kept 
in readiness at Kiel and Wilhelmshaven. The commander 


of the expeditionary force was to have the authority of a 
Commander of a division. 

An extraordinary brigade, 7,000 strong, made up of 
soldiers who volunteered, was also to be formed and de- 
spatched to China. 

Martial law had been duly proclaimed in Tientsin by Cap- 
tain Bayly, under the direction of Admiral Seymour. 

At a Consular meeting, at which Admiral Seymour pre- 
sided and General Dorward was present, it was decided that 
the military authorities should from that date (June 29) 
assume absolute control of affairs, and take such measures 
as they deemed necessary. An attack on the Settlement 
might be expected at any moment. 

The situation was fully discussed. General Dorward 
pointed out that the Russian position on the left bank of the 
river, held by about 4,000 men, was considered strong; the 
German Settlement, with only a few buildings, not an un- 
favourable position for defence; but the other positions, 
held by 2,500 men — Americans, British, Italians and Japan- 
ese — were not particularly defensible in case the French 
Settlement, which was deemed absolutely untenable if se- 
verely attacked, should fall. 

Admiral AlexiefY and General Fukushima being shortly 
expected, the meeting was postponed, and steps were at 
once taken to strengthen the French and British positions 
of defence, which particularly needed to be made stronger. 

On June 30, at 10.15 p.m., there was heavy firing upon the 
Settlements, and bullets were pelting freely on the Victoria 

The Maxims were brought into action, and on July i, in 
the morning, the Chinese sent a number of shells into the 
French and British Concessions, while the Russians pounded 
away in return with their artillery. 


Haphazard shooting — Mr. Campbell wounded — A lake of sugar 
— French troops — Refugees — Chinese shells — Attempting to 
seize the pontoon bridge — Russian gallantry — Women and 
children — A reconnaissance — The enemy's Krupp guns — Two 
i2-pounder guns — A serious attack on the railway station — 
The Settlement heavily shelled — Exodus of refugees — Accurate 
Chinese fire — Arrival of Japanese troops and two 4-inch 
British guns — Artillery available in Tientsin — Temperance 
Hall the chief target — A reconnoitring party — The Wei-hai- 
wei regiment under fire — More guns arrive. 

July 2 was a fairly quiet day but for haphazard shooting 
upon the Settlements by the Chinese entrenched some seven 
or eight hundred yards north-west of Temperance Hall, 
They were reported to be 3,500 strong, and to belong to 
General Ma. Only a few shots were fired from the Chinese 
big guns. 

Unfortunately these bullets, although aimed at no one in 
particular, were a constant danger to any one who ventured 
out of the house. Mr. C. Campbell, of the Consular Service, 
a great Chinese scholar, who had rendered valuable assist- 
ance with the Seymour Expedition, received quite a serious 
wound in the ankle on that day, while walking about the Set- 

An exciting fire broke out in the sugar go-down adjoining 



the barracks of the Barfleiir, and great concern was felt until 
the considerable stores of ammunition and explosives were 
removed out of reach of the flames, and taken to a place 
of safety. The fire was eventually overcome, but the sev- 


era) thousand pounds of sugar that were in the building all 
melted, and flowed in a boiling torrent along the Bund and 
into the lanes and back-yards. It was quite a unique sight 
to have before one a regular lake of burnt sugar some sixty 
yards in circumference and five or six inches deep, and to 
tread on its surface was worse than troublesome. The 
photograph here reproduced gives a fair idea of its size. 

About 350 Frenchmen and a number of picturesque An- 
namites, with their peculiar flat hats, were welcomed into 
the Settlements, having marched seven and a half miles 



from the terminus of the railway, to which the trains were 
still running from Tong-ku. 

The tug-boat Fawan took down the river a lot of refugee 
women and children, and the Cossacks started upon a re- 
connaissance, from which they did not return in the evening. 

The rainy season having now arrived, there were heavy 
showers in the afternoon, and a gloom was cast over British 


naval circles by the death of Midshipman A. P. Donaldson 
from a severe wound. 

As usual on the morning of the 3rd the residents were 
awakened by the rumbling report of heavy artillery all 
round them. Shells were whizzing in every direction, and 
causing considerable damage to the houses of foreigners. 
Shells would very easily penetrate a single wall, but seldom 
passed through two. 

During the night a fearful fusillade had been opened on 
the Russians and the French, especially near the Railway 
Station. The Chinese made an attempt to seize the pon- 
toon bridge. The Russians behaved not only with gal- 


lantry, but also with amazing coolness, and drove away the 
enemy, who took cover behind the numerous salt hills on 
the opposite bank of the river, and blazed away at the French 
for some two hours. The French held their own, notwith- 
standing that the Chinese had brought their two largest 
guns, which had been located in the city fort, down to the 
banks of the stream. 

These guns caused much annoyance, segment-shells being 
poured into the Settlement in uncomfortable quantities. 

A thunderstorm increased the pleasures of life in Tien- 
tsin on that particular afternoon. An order was issued by 
the Admiral, Sir E. Seymour, that all women and children, 
some 300 in all, must be sent down river at the earliest 
opportunity, and that, while the Settlement was being 
shelled, the cellars of the Gordon Hall were to be used as 
shelters by those who had no cellars of their own. 

The Japanese relieved the British and Germans at thei-r 
pickets to the south and west of the defences. 

A reconnaissance cost the Russians and Japanese 50 men, 
16 killed and 34 wounded. 

Sniping went on all through the night, and by the morn- 
ing of the 4th the enemy had mounted a number of modern 
Krupp guns, nine of which were plainly visible, on the south 
wall of the city. The enemy had been strongly reinforced, 
and in the afternoon came out of the South Gate in great 
numbers, apparently meaning to attack the Settlement. 

Two i2-pounder guns had just arrived with eighty ma- 
rines from the Terrible, and two more of these guns were 
placed in position and opened fire on the Chinese, while the 
Japanese infantry kept up a smart fusillade, and poured in 
lead from Maxims and from their old-fashioned pieces of 








This move was only a feint on the part of the Chinese to 
draw the attention of the enemy while a more serious attack 
was being made on the Railway Station. The Chinese had 
shown great anxiety to take possession of the Railway Sta- 
tion, and having been unable to do so, had shelled it 
heavily, wrecking the greater part of the principal building 
and destroying several engines and a quantity of rolling- 

The men of the Barfieur were not strong enough to cope 
with the determined attack of the enemy, and were so hard 
pressed that strong reinforcements were sent for. The 
Russians, under the brave Colonel Shirinsky, and the 
French, immediately went to their assistance, as well as the 
Hong Kong and the Wei-hai-wei Chinese Regiments. The 
fighting was unflagging on both sides, and the casual- 
ties many — over sixty on the side of the Allies. A vio- 
lent storm of hail and rain eventually put an end to the 

Early the next morning (July 5) the Settlement was 
heavily shelled, the French Concession suffering more 
severely than the British. There was an exodus of 160 
refugees, mostly women and children, on the tug Fazvan, 
with a lighter in tow. They were accompanied down the 
river by British and German volunteers, and by some Ger- 
man sailors — in all 100 rifles. 

The Chinese fire was extremely accurate, and their guns 
so well concealed that, although they were believed to shell 
the Settlement from the city fort (Shui-tze-ying) and to 
have mounted fresh guns on the Lutai canal, it was really 
beyond the power of the Allies to locate the guns with pre- 
cision and silence them. Many attempts were made un- 



A thousand Japanese infantry and 200 cavalry arrived, as 
well as two 4-inch quick-firing guns from H.M.S. Algerine. 
Besides these four large guns, there were now in Tien- 
tsin, altogether, a third 12-pounder, on Captain Scott's 
mountings, 28 field-pieces of more or less antiquated pat- 
terns, and some Catlings, Colt Auto- 
matics, and Maxims, quick-firers of small 

Things became hot in the Settlement on 
the 6th, when shells poured in like hail the 
whole day, especially on Temperance Hall, 
which appeared to be the chief target — 
probably because General Dorward had his 
headquarters there. 

A reconnoitring party went out to try 
and find the position of the Chinese 3- 
pounder guns, two of which were shelling 
the Settlement. The Chinese were cleverly 
trying to outflank the defenders from the 
south-west and west, where they had 
brought up a battery of Krupp guns near 
the Racecourse. The Wei-hai-wei Regi- 
ment, with Major Bruce in command, was 
sent out twice into a Chinese village on the Taku road, with 
A and B companies of the BarUciir as supports, but unfort- 
unately the enemy, well under cover, kept up such a hot 
fire on them — and they were fully exposed to it — that their 
gallant efforts met with no success. Alas! they even had 
to retire with a heavy list of casualties. Major Bruce him- 
self receiving a serious wound in the abdomen, and Mid- 
shipman Esdale, who behaved with great pluck, being also 
severely injured. 



The guns, as was discovered some days later, were on the 
opposite side of the canal. 

The Wei-hai-wei Regiment is said to have behaved with 
considerable coolness and courage on this trying occasion, 
and it speaks volumes for the officers who have in so short 
a time succeeded in training such excellent soldiers. There 
had been much speculation beforehand as to the probable 
conduct of this new regiment, and it was felt with some 
apprehension that to make them fight against their own 
kith and kin was rather unfair and hard on them. How- 
ever, whether against kin or no, it cannot be doubted that 
they fought well whenever they had a chance. 

On the same day a tug brought up two more 4-inch guns 
and a 6-pounder, with plenty of ammunition, and positions 
were assigned to these upon the " mud wall," at a spot just 
skirting the British Extra Concession, and commanding 
the plain towards the Racecourse. An attack was feared 
from that side (south-west and west), and on the 6th the 
unprotected houses of Messrs. Detring and Dickinson, 
which had so far miraculously escaped destruction, were 
looted by Chinese soldiers and burnt to the ground. 


The 4-inch naval gun — Captain Bayly Provost-Marshal — The 
West Arsenal — British refugees uncared for — Operations 
against the West Arsenal — A British naval 4-inch gun mounted 
— Guns on the Mud-wall — The enemy's artillery — Marvellous 
shooting — Lyddite shells — Another determinate attack on the 
Station — The exact range — The wounded of the Pekin brigade 
-^Lieutenant Blonsky — Admiral Seymour returns to Taku. 

It was not till July 7 that preparations could be made for 
mounting a 4-inch naval gun, and a party was sent out to 
the East Arsenal to get timber, while the 12-pounder was 
used to shell the city. In return the Chinese Krupp guns 
made excellent practice upon the Tientsin Settlement, and 
knocked houses about very successfully. The shells were 
mostly directed upon the various barracks, an undeniable 
evidence that the Chinese had spies in the Settlement who 
kept them well informed of what the foreigners were doing. 

Captain S. Bayly, R.N., of the Aurora, was elected 
Provost Marshal, with Lieutenant Leonard, of the United 
States Marines, as Deputy. A strict injunction was posted 
that all suspicious characters should be made prisoners. 

Midshipman Esdale died from his wounds. 

On July 8 the Chinese shelled the 12-pounder guns 
heavily, in the hope of silencing them, and also endeavoured 
to blow up the gasworks. 



The mounting of the 4-inch guns was proceeding fast, 
and the gunners manning our 12-pounders tried their best 
to disable the enemy's Krupp guns placed on either side of 
the Hai-kvvang-Sze Arsenal, usually called by our men the 
West Arsenal, and also known as the Joss-House Arsenal. 


It was in this building that, in 1873, the Treaty of Tientsin 
was concluded and signed by Lord Elgin, The capture of 
the Arsenal was deemed necessary, as the Chinese had four 
guns here, which they constantly trained on the Settlement; 
moreover, once in the hands of the Allied forces, the cause- 
way would be practically free from shelling in the rear, and 
an attack on the native city could then be undertaken with 
greater safety. 

The other and larger Arsenal, three miles east of the city, 
and the same distance north-east of the Military College, 
had previously been captured by the Russians, with British 
marines from the Terrible and other ships. 

While the women and children of other nationalities re- 
ceived every protection and care from their own com- 
patriots, the British were shockingly abandoned to their 


fate in Tongku, and left at the mercy of enterprising specu- 
lators. The persons mostly to blame for this neglect were 
those in authority in Tientsin, who never notified the Tong- 
ku officials that they had been despatched down the river. 
This would have involved very little extra trouble, and the 
poor things would have been spared much sufifering and 

At twenty minutes to three a.m. on Monday, July 9, 
1,000 Japanese, 400 Russians, and 1,000 British soldiers, 
including native troops, took part in the operations against 
the Hai-kwan-Sze Arsenal. The Japanese formed the at- 
tacking line, with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on their right. 
The remainder of the troops engaged were supports and 
reserve. The advance was made along the Taku road as 
far as Tum-Tui, where the force wheeled to the right and 
formed for attack against the Racecourse and the remains 
of the houses of Detring and Dickinson, in which large 
numbers of Boxers were concentrated. The Japanese 
cavalry dashed into these, charging to and fro several times 
and doing great execution. They left hundreds of the 
enemy dead on the field, and captured three standards, 
while the infantry seized four guns. The entire Allied force 
then moved on the Arsenal, which had been evacuated by 
the enemy, and was found deserted. The casualties of the 
Allies were few — ten dead and sixty-five wounded. 

The operations were over by half-past 12 p.m., and the 
troops returned to barracks. During the whole forenoon 
of that day the Settlement was heavily shelled by the Chi- 
nese, but the capture of the Arsenal was undoubtedly the 
first step towards the capitulation of Tientsin city. 

On the loth a British naval 4-inch gun from H.M.S. 
Phoenix was mounted near the mud wall in the British Ex- 



tra Concession by Lieutenant Drummond, of H.M.S. Ter- 
rible, and Engineer Cockey of the Centurion. Upon the 
mud wall itself three 12-pounders from the Terrible were 
now placed in position, pointing towards the Racecourse, 
whence another attack was feared, while five 6-pounders 

•nil. 4-lN(.ll N.WAI, (.IN I'KOM u.s\.^. Pkivniv 

from different ships were brought to bear on the native 
city, principally on the South Gate. A 4.7 gun was brought 
close to the 4-inch gun, but was never required, and was 
not even placed on its mount. The other 4-inch British 
gun was placed on the road to the Arsenal, and next to it a 
i2-pounder playing on those two forts, north-east of the 
city, which had caused most trouble to the Settlements and 
Railway Station. 

The enemy turned their guns on our 4-inch gun by the 
Arsenal and on the Russian guns, and shelled them with 
extraordinary precision. The enemy, under the command 

Vol.. I. — 12 



of General Nieh, was reported to be over 20,000 strong. 
Great credit was given to their gunners for their marvel- 
lous shooting. The men of the Terrible said that the shell- 
ing of Ladysmith, from which they had come, was mere 
child's play compared with the hot and well-directed fire 
of the Chinese artillerymen. 

From half-past three to half-past seven a.m. on the nth, 


the Chinese shelling was terrific. The 4-inch guns of the 
Algerine, mounted on the mud wall, were pouring lyddite 
shells into Tientsin city, while the Chinese were trying hard 
to silence the British guns with their excellent Krupps. 

As was expected, the Chinese made another determined 
attack upon the Station. A British company was sent out 
as a reinforcement. There was fierce fighting at 4 a.m., 
the Chinese actually charging the Allies with their bayonets 
fixed, and even succeeding in breaking through between 
the French and the British lines. They captured a num- 
ber of trucks, which they used as cover, and from which 
they kept up a smart fire, principally on the Hong Kong 



regiment of Pathans. The Hong Kongs eventually suc- 
ceeded in driving them from their position, but the Chi- 
nese showed astounding pluck and tenacity, as well as a 
considerable amount of strategy on the part of their officers. 

BY THE Heron 

Ti I W 1:1 1 I'l'W .\ 

The casualties of the Allies were heavy — about 100, 
mostly wounded. A few were killed. 

The Hotchkiss and 12-pounder guns of the Allies were 
hard at work on the enemy till nearly seven o'clock. 

One hundred and eighty American marines arrived, and 
a second 4.7 gun was brought up and landed by the steam- 
tug Fazvan. 

In the afternoon, from 1.30 to 3.30. the Chinese having 
found the exact range of the 4-inch gun by the Arsenal, 
shelled it heavily, while the two British 4-inch replied in 
a vigorous and destructive manner with their lyddite shells. 


One of these proved disastrous to the high pagoda used 
as a watch tower near the city fort. The building flared up 
and collapsed. 

July 12 was an unbearably hot day. There was no fight- 
ing and no shelling till late in the afternoon, except some 
stray missile to remind people that war was going on. 

The remainder of the " Pekin Brigade," with four 
wounded, were sent down to Taku in a lighter towed by 
the tug Heron. 

I saw one brave marine, whose arm had just been ampu- 
tated at the shoulder, smoking his pipe and laughing over 
his misfortune. Another, shot through the foot, thought 
he was lucky, since he might have fared worse. A curious 
incident was related to me. A bullet having gone through 
a soldier's hat, he absent-mindedly carried his headgear un- 
der his arm till the end of the battle, to save it from further 

It was on the 12th that Lieutenant Blonsky, who, as we 
have seen, behaved so bravely in the search for the Belgian 
and Italian railway engineers, was dangerously wounded in 
several places by a shell, when he had only just come out 
of the hospital cured of the many spear thrusts and sword 
cuts received in his encounter with the Boxers. 

Vice-Admiral Seymour and a number of men from the 
Centurion, Orlando, and Aurora, returned to Taku. 


The attack on the native city — Troops taking part in the 
operations and their respective positions — Chinese quick-firing 
guns and modern rifles — Gingals — The defenders of the city 
— Swampy ground and lack of cover — Plucky Pathans — The 
death of Colonel Liscum — A difficult position — A reported 
conversation — The plucky Japanese — At the South Gate — 
Blowing up the gates — Scaling the wall^The gate opened — 
The fall of the city — Town set fire to — The devotion of a prac- 
tical son — The Arsenal and Armoury. 

An attack on the native city was to take place early in the 
morning of the 13th. A well-concerted bombardment began 
at sunrise from all the available pieces of artillery in the 
possession of the Allies. 

As we have seen, there were the two 4-inch rapid-fire 
naval guns, one mounted on the road to the Arsenal with a 
i2-pounder next to it, the other near the mud wall; while 
three more 12-pounders were on the wall itself, with live 
6-pounder Hotchkiss quick-firing guns. A number of 
9-pounders, and about twenty-eight or thirty field-pieces, 
were also brought to bear on the city wall. The 4.7 was 
still unmounted, as it was not required. 

In the forenoon of the 13th the Allied forces, numbering 
4,300, viz.: 2,000 Japanese, 800 British, 600 French, 900 
Americans, 100 Germans and Austrians (the latter not tak- 




ing part until night), made an attack on the walled city from 
the south, under the protection of our guns on the mud 

The American marines were on the extreme left wing; 
next to them came the Welsh Fusiliers. The Japanese oc- 
cupied the centre, 
and the French 
marched along the 
p=»iiM Taku road as re- 
serves and support. 
The British blue- 
jackets and marines 
were on the right 
of the Japanese 
force, and the 9th 
United States In- 
fantry on the extreme right wing. It will be seen that 
the Americans thus occupied the two extreme wings. 

On the first day the Chinese kept up a terrific fire from 
quick-firing machine guns, Mauser, Mannlicher, and Win- 
chester rifles, and gingals. These gingals are a purely Chi- 
nese adaptation of the modern breech-loading stock to a 
barrel about seven feet in length. Three men are required 
to fire one of these weapons, which can do much execution, 
and are greatly favoured by the Chinese. They can be 
sighted very accurately to a very long range, and, compared 
with small-bore weapons, the bullet undoubtedly has con- 
siderable stopping power, especially when the cartridge has 
a split-nosed projectile, a wound from which is terrific. 

The wall of the native city was well manned by artillery- 
men of the Imperial Chinese army, in addition to a mob of 
Boxers firing with old-fashioned matchlocks and other ob- 




solete weapons. In the suburbs outside the South Gate 
great numbers of Boxers had been employed to snipe from 
their mud houses at the Allies. 

Con<5iderable difficulty was encountered in advancing 
towards the city, owing to the swampy nature of the ground 
and the lack of shelter from Chinese bullets. In fact, the 
loss of the Allies was great— 708 in all, without counting 


the losses of the Germans and Russians, who moved on 
the city from the north-east, and carried everything before 

The Wei-hai-wei Regiment and more marines were sent 
as reinforcements, but were mostly employed in carrying 
away the wounded, while the Pathans conveyed ammunition 
to the front. 

Four of these plucky fellows, with a convoy of mules, were 
despatched to the front. One was shot; his companions 


went on; two more fell dead, and the only one remaining to 
lead the convoy faced the bullets. Alas! he, too, was hit in 
the head and fell bravely. The mules stampeded, and the 
ammunition never reached its destination. 

The Americans on the right were proceeding under 
shelter of the dykes. In getting over one of these dykes 
their much-honoured Commander, Colonel Liscum, was 
killed while performing a gallant and patriotic deed. It 
appears that in the hail of bullets his standard-bearer was 
shot. Colonel Liscum, who was near him, would not see 
the Stars and Stripes precipitated in the mud, but seized the 
flag, and, waving it, ordered his men to storm the dyke, he 
running ahead. Unhappily he was struck by a bullet, and 
died shortly after. 

The position occupied by the Americans was a very dif- 
ficult one, as the distance from the two Chinese guns across 
the canal to the dyke was only seventy-five yards. More- 
over, the Chinese, strongly entrenched in the German flour 
mill, kept up a deadly fusillade. By sunset the Americans 
had 1 20 killed and wounded, ninety of the 9th Infantry and 
thirty marines. 

Besides Colonel Liscum, Captain Davies was killed, and 
Captain Long, Captain Lemly, Lieutenant Leonard and 
Lieutenant Butler were wounded. Lieutenant Leonard's 
arm required amputation. The Americans found it impos- 
sible to hold their position, and after dark retired. 

The story goes that at nightfall a Commander of the 
Allies approached the Japanese General Fukushima and 
proposed to give the order to retire. 

" If I give an order at all," the Japanese replied firmly, 
" it will be to go still further forward." So all stayed and 
conquered their way inch by inch under cover of the night. 



In this engagement the British marines had five killed and 
forty wounded. 

The plucky Japanese, who always led during the engage- 
ment, at last 
reached the South 
Gate, which was 
already much bat- 
tered by the 4-inch 
gun and by the 
6-pounders on the 
mud wall. 

At twenty 
minutes past three 
A.M. on July 14, 
the South Gate 
was blown up by 
the Japanese. As, 
however, the city 
gates were double, 
yet another effort 
was made to blow 
up the second 
gate. While this 
was being done a 
number of Japan- 
ese soldiers climb- 
ed the wall, hand 
over fist, and as 
quick as lightning were on the other side. They opened the 
gate amid the hurrahs of their companions, and a flood of 
foreign troops, Japanese, British and French, poured into 
the town, bayoneting and shooting the Chinese, who still 

The property of the Author. 


sniped from inside their houses, and made a desperate re- 
sistance. Too high praise cannot be given to the Japanese 
officers and soldiers. They proved themselves perfect 
soldiers in every way. 

The actual losses in entering the city on the 14th were 
about ten wounded — a small loss indeed when compared to 
that of the previous day. 

The greater portion of the town was set on fire, and the 
rush of foreign soldiers and of stampeding Chinese hustling 
in the narrow streets and along the wall was a curious sight. 

One of the snapshots here reproduced shows a number of 
natives bolting at our approach upon the day that Tientsin 
fell, as well as the pathetic and humorous picture of a young 
man carrying his decrepit and paralysed mother in a con- 
trivance of double baskets, her weight being accurately 
balanced on the opposite side by a number of bricks, a few 
cucumbers, and some cabbages. 

Dead men lay about in the streets and piled along the 
wall; others, wounded, lay quietly, and, if you approached, 
simulated death for fear of being killed. Every now and 
then a revolver or rifle shot came from a sniper inside a 
house, and when discovered, short work was made of him 
there and then. The Americans took possession of the 
Arsenal by nightfall, fort after fort had fallen, and the flags 
of all the Allies floated victorious all along the battered 
wall of Tientsin Chinese city. 

The troops who defended the city were General Ma's 
soldiers, ten camps Infantry (5,000 men) and 3 camps 
Cavalry (750 men) ; Viceroy's soldiers, 1,000; the Lien-Chiin 
and Hwai-Chiin (troops with Artillery raised by Li-hung- 
chang); General Nieh's army; 1,000 Salt Commissioner's 
soldiers. The latter behaved with extraordinary bravery. 













The looting of Tientsin — The residents — A special case — A 
day's free hand — The only punishment — A study of the looters 
— Tommy Atkins and Jack Tar — The friends at home — Good- 
hearted devils. 

TiENSTiN native city had fallen; next came the looting! 
What an amazing sight ! 

Hardly had the gates been thrown open and the Allied 


troops found their way into every nook of the town, than 
Chinese portable property that had any value began to 
change hands. American, Russian, British, Japanese and 
French soldiers ran here and there, poking their noses into 


every doorway, the door, if not open already, being soon 
kicked open. The foreign residents of Tientsin, knowing 
the town well, had an unfair advantage over Tommy Atkins 
and the American boys, who had to feel their way about, 
whereas the residents, especially those who had not dis- 
tinguished themselves in the fighting line, lost no time in 
making for the Mint, the Salt Commissioner's palace, the 
Viceroy's Yamen, or the nearest silk or jewellery store, 
where they knew that wealth was accumulated, and where 
they helped themselves to anything that took their fancy. 
Sycee, lump silver, and bar gold were preferred. 

It is difficult to decide whether looting is at any time right 
or wrong, but in all fairness it must be kept in mind that the 
case of Tientsin was a special one. The main portion of 
the city was already on fire, most of the houses had already 
been broken into and looted by the Boxers and Chinese 
soldiers, and presently everything that remained would be 
destroyed by the flames. It certainly seemed a pity to let so 
much beautiful and valuable property be wasted. Was it 
not, then, the lesser evil to allow these men, who had fought 
hard, to reap what benefit they could from the misfortune of 
others, especially since " the others " were doomed to mis- 
fortune in any case? To prevent looting was impossible. 
The authorities, therefore, seem to have followed the only 
sensible line, by giving the soldiers and marines a day's free 

The accounts of the looting published in England and 
America were not accurate, and seemed to be mostly written 
by persons who had some ulterior motive in showing the 
soldiers of some one nation or another at their worst. I 
maintain that, if looting is to be looked upon as a crime, the 
soldiers of all nations, none excepted, disgraced themselves 



alike. The Russian, the British, the American, the Japanese, 
the French, all looted alike. They one and all were looters 
of the very first water. I say it and I maintain it. But, on 
the other hand, I cannot see that in this particular case of 
the Chinese war looting was a criminal offence. On the 
contrary, it was the only way by which the natives could be 


punished for their outrages on our men, women and 
children; and, degrading as it may seem to those who had 
no chance of taking part in it, there is no doubt that the 
only portion of this war which will cause the Chinese some 
future reflection will be the burning and looting of Tientsin. 
Personally, a study of the looters was extremely interest- 
ing, and afforded me more pleasure than anything I could 
have carried away. It brought out the characteristics of 
each nationality and of each individual in a most extraordi- 


nary manner. Considering things generally, and barring 
exceptional instances, the looting was done in a most pa- 
thetic way. Naturally, there were cases of violence, murder, 
and assault, but they were only few and far apart. Let us 
take, for instance, the British Tommy and the bluejacket. 
The first thing they did on entering the city was to start on 
a wild chase after fowls and ducks in the backyards and side 
lanes. Tame humming-birds were not always spared. This 
done, and the prospect of chicken for supper assured. 
Tommy Atkins laid his hands principally on embroidered 
silk gowns and articles of jewellery. The native application 
of the latter he did not quite seem to understand, but with 
the help of his naval mate, who had been about the world, 
generally managed to decipher the puzzle. 

" My! Won't my girl be happy when she sees all this! " 
was the very first thought of Tommy and Jack about the 
loot. " She'll know right enough what to do with it all." 
And the pockets of Tommy and Jack were soon stuffed to 
bursting with silver-gilt combs, small carvings, hairpins, 
elaborate ornaments for the hair, and silver charms of all 
kinds and sizes, of which Chinese chests of drawers were 
brimful. " These 'ere silks are rather awkward to carry," 
remarks Jack, scratching his head, after trying in vain to 
bring together the two ends of a cloth on which he had piled 
enough silk garments to clothe a whole army. But Jack had 
made up his mind that he was going to present the gown 
most handsomely embroidered to his sweetheart, the next 
best to his old mother, since in her old age her sight is 
getting bad and she will not see the difference, another, the 
one lined with fur, to his brother John's wife, and one, all of 
brocade and gold, to old Mr. Smith, who once lent him five 
shillings (which, by the bye, he never repaid, but which he 



does not deny that he still owes). In fact Jack, overcome by 
his sudden wealth, entertains a fixed idea that on his return 
to his native land he is going to give some memento or other 
to any one that likes to have one, " for people at home," says 
he, " value these 'ere China curios more than anything in the 


world." In his mind's eye he can already see the barren 
walls of his humble home decorated with the costliest bro- 
cades cut into small pieces and squeezed into a sort of 
butterfly shape, or forming rosettes over the ends of the 
mantelpiece, round the looking-glass, and draped on corners 
of blurred photographic enlargements of deceased relations. 
At home much abuse has been showered on poor Jack and 
Tom, and it has not always been remembered that in fight- 
ing the Chinese our men ran by no means a slight risk of 

being skinned alive, or decapitated, or boiled in oil, or re- 
VOL. I. — 13 


ceiving a touch of the death of a thousand cuts. Indeed, 
many a white man and woman had been found brutally 
mutilated or beheaded, and it is well to recollect that those 
unfortunate soldiers of the Allies who fell prisoners of the 
Chinese were invariably tortured in the most infamous 
fashion, their bodies when eventually recovered being head- 
less and bearing marks of brutal treatment. 

It seems hard, in the face of privations bravely endured, 
that Tom and Jack should be so much blamed for taking 
property which practically belonged to nobody, since it had 
been abandoned by the rightful owners and was about to 
be destroyed. In war between civilised nations, looting is 
without doubt a crime to be severely condemned and pun- 
ished, but in the case of a nation like the Chinese, who have 
no national pride, no respect for any government or law, 
nor for the life of others or of themselves, there seemed no 
way of punishing them except by touching their pocket. 
This the Allied soldiers certainly succeeded in doing ex- 
tremely well. 

To return to the British soldiers and marines, it was in- 
teresting to watch them, the younger ones especially, loot, 
loot, loot, not for themselves, but for the friends and rela- 
tions at home. One could almost safely say that 75 per 
cent, of the looting by individual soldiers was not done for 
the sake of lucre, but merely to obtain mementoes. There 
was much good-nature shown, even generosity, if the term 
can be applied to the giving away of stolen goods, by loot- 
ers to spectators. If one happened to admire any particu- 
lar article in the bundle of a soldier, he usually begged you 
to accept it as a present. Several times I have seen pay- 
ment refused for curios in the possession of soldiers. " Yes, 



take it," they would say persuasively. "Take it; I know 
where to get more." There seemed to be no alternative. 

Tommy or Jack on the loot was extremely communi- 
cative. He was under the impression that all round him 
were his friends, while no doubt could be entertained that 


he was the friend of everybody all round. His manner may 
have lacked polish, but there is no denying the fact that 
Tommy and Jack were good-hearted devils. They may 
have had their little faults — no man ever lived who had none 
—but, looting or no looting, there was something very 
agreeable about both of them, and in regard to character 
they were as fine fellows as ever wore a soldier's or a sailor's 


The Japanese soldier — His dignified demeanour — His artistic 
taste — Delicate touch — Appreciation of Art — Watches for 

The Japanese soldier in many respects resembled the Brit- 
ish, but was more reserved, and less anxious to be every- 
body's friend. The innocent and frank simplicity of the 
Briton was replaced in the Oriental by a more graceful, yet 
a stolid and dignified demeanour. But at heart both were 
alike, both dare-devils, yet gentle enough if treated the 
right way. The point where a marked difiference lay be- 
tween the two was in the true and keen artistic sense of the 
beautiful inborn in the sons of the Mikado's Empire, and 
altogether absent in the British Tommy. All that was an- 
cient, refined in line and taste, or pleasing to the eye in col- 
our, had for a Japanese more fascination than anything of 
ten times its intrinsic value. In other words, an old cup, 
a bowl, a rolled-up painting yellow with age, a scroll done 
with a dash of the brush, offered more temptation to the 
Japanese than a costly roll of silk, for which he would not 
seem to care at all. I went into a house which had been 
entered by a number of Japanese privates. They had found 
a cabinet of old china, and each soldier was revolving in his 
supple fingers a cup or a vase or dish, and carefully exam- 
ining the design. 



" Kekko neh! How lovely!" exclaimed one soldier, 
looking into the work with the eye of a connoisseur. 

'' Sajo deska. Tailien joso! Yes, indeed. First-rate!" 
announced his neighbour, drawing in his breath in sign of 
admiration, while he tried to decipher the mark on the bot- 

A.MKUl' \N .\.\l> J.\l'ANL>i; \S(UXI'i:i) R 1 ] IT K.\ I NT, INTO THE SETTLEMENT 

tom of each cup. And here a long conversation began on 
the age of the crockery, how graceful in shape, how fine 
in texture and make each piece was, and how skilful the 
artist that painted it. Great regret, accompanied by con- 
siderable nodding of the head to the right and left, was ex- 
pressed at the impossibility of carrying away such artistic 
ware, owing to its brittleness and size. And here comes 
the principal point of my story. Such was their admiration 
for the wares they had handled that, instead of smashing 
them, as less artistic troops did those objects that could not 



be carried away, these Japanese soldiers carefully replaced 
each article on its shelf. 

One could not help being struck, especially when small, 
delicate articles were handled, by the dainty, artistic touch 
of the Japanese soldiers as compared with the clumsy, 
sausage-like fingers of the American, Russian, French or 


British soldier. The Japanese picked up and laid down the 
smallest and most minute articles with such neatness and 
grace that it was a real pleasure to see them, whereas the 
Yankee, or the French or the British or Russian, not to 
mention the German, could touch nothing that was not 
solid bronze or stone without breakage or twisting or soil 
or injury of some sort. In another house, a group of Jap- 
anese soldiers were discussing the merits of an old picture 
which they had just unrolled. They came to the conclu- 
sion that it was at least 300 years old. An officer entered. 


They showed it to him and he said that it was a very fine 
painting. They begged him to accept it. One of the sol- 
diers rolled it up again and wrapped it in a piece of silk as 
neatly as if he had been a picture-dealer all his life. 

The Japanese — I am talking of the common soldiers, not 
of the of^cers — were the only soldiers in the field who 
showed any natural and thorough appreciation of art and 
of things artistic. They — like everybody else, of course — 
looted, but they did it in a quiet, silent and graceful way, 
with no throwing about of things, no smashing, no con- 
fusion, no undue vandalism. They helped themselves to 
what they fancied, but it was done so nicely that it did not 
seem like looting at all — at least, not like looting as under- 
stood by people at home. Small ivory or jade carvings 
were much cherished by the Japanese, but, curious as it 
may sound, with all their artistic taste, when it came to 
actual carrying away, their minds ran to the practical, and 
the principal things for which the little fellows looked were 
watches of foreign make, which were plentiful in China. 
Silver repeaters striking the hours, quarters and minutes, 
made many a Japanese soldier happy, and next to these 
there was nothing that a Japanese soldier loved better than 
musical instruments or portable music-boxes. He could 
almost outdo the Russian in this. 


The American soldier — No worse and no better than others — 
His good qualities — The delights of smashing China vases — A 
first-class fellow — His topic of conversation — Art and lump 
silver — His popularity among the Allies— Guarding the 
Armoury — In the Yamen of the Commissioner of Salt — A 
diabolical picture — Several million dollars — A mountain of 

The American soldier is an interesting study. I have seen 
it reported in American papers that the American soldiers 
in China were the only ones who did absolutely no looting, 
and this was adduced as an example showing the superior- 
ity of their morals to those of soldiers belonging to other 
nationalities. No doubt newspapers of other nations con- 
cerned in the war have written in the same manner about 
their compatriots, and it would be very pleasant to believe 
that the news one reads in newspapers was always true. In 
this case the report was particularly false. In regard to 
looting the American soldier was no worse, indeed, but de- 
cidedly no better, than any other soldier present, nor was 
there any reason why he should have been. Possibly he 
lacked some of the feeling and artistic taste to be found in 
some of the other nationalities, and as a rule he displayed 
much determined business capacity. It must be borne in 
mind that these remarks are not made in disparagement, 



but are merely observations on the characteristics of the 
American soldier in general in his capacity as a looter. He 
is curt and blunt with strangers at first, but jolly and warm- 
hearted upon acquaintance. He does not particularly care 


for artistic embroideries, nor for rare bronzes and china 
ware, nor can he understand why anybody else does. He 
will pick up a costly vase which has been preserved for cen- 
turies in the house of a high ofificial, and to save himself the 
trouble of putting it gently down in the place from which 
it came will drop it on the floor. Its companion piece at 
the other end of the sideboard meets a similar fate, the noise 
of smashing crockery giving more wild delight to his un- 


musical ears than the beautiful design, the patient work of 
years, on the vase, before it was broken, gave pleasure to 
his artistically untrained eye. The visit" of the American 
soldiers had about the same result on the interior of a China- 
man's house as a severe shock of earthquake. The con- 
tempt of the American soldier for art has a redeeming point. 
His dry if somewhat coarse sense of humour, his extraordi- 
nary remarks on the things he touched and saw, and his 
composite oaths, in which no nation in the world except 
the Chinese can rival or equal him, made him an amusing 
study. His manner and his language may not always ful- 
fil the ideals of European training, but once accustomed to 
his " bluff," most of which is assumed to show his inde- 
pendence, which he thinks he has no other way of showing, 
we shall find him a first-class fellow. From my own ob- 
servation I can speak highly of the American as a soldier. 
He generally impressed one, nevertheless, as being a per- 
son disappointed in life and always on the look-out for a 
fortune. When he talked, money was his only topic, and 
when he could not talk of money he kept silent. 

What did he care for works of art? He had heard that 
some of the porcelain was worth large sums, but he really 
could not tell a five-cent teapot from a thousand-dollar one. 
To use his expression, all the works of art in the world were 
not worth " a cent," and, anyhow, they had no sound mar- 
ketable value. All that he looked for in the houses of rich 
*' Chinos," as he conveniently called the Chinese, was gold 
bar, or silver, the latter for choice in four and a quarter 
pound lumps (sycee). If he could not get gold or silver 
he preferred to have nothing, but he looked and looked un- 
til he generally found what he wanted. When once he had 
it, he was willing, in order to convert it at once into cash, to 






sell each four and a quarter pound lump (or seventy dollars 
worth in weight) for five, ten, fifteen or twenty dollars local 

The American soldier, when acclimatised, became ex- 
tremely popular with all the other nations, and it was 


pleasant to see him chum, particularly with the British 
Tommy. He was generous in his dealings with other 
soldiers, and when he got to know the people was quite 
afifable, and had a pleasant word for everybody. He occa- 
sionally referred to " his girl at home," but hardly ever 
mentioned any other relative, although no doubt he loved 
them all dearly. Next to his attention to business, which 
he transacts as we have seen above, comes his intense inter- 
est in firearms. It was therefore lucky that it fell to the 
lot of the Americans to be set on guard at the large Arsenal 
inside the city wall, close to the South Gate. Forty beauti- 



ful Krupp and Nordenfeldt guns of the latest pattern were 
captured, with quantities of small arms and ammunition, 
including shells of all patterns and sizes. A detachment 
of the 9th Infantry was placed in charge of the prem- 
ises, and the men 
were q u a r t e red 
there until the or- 
der came to march 
on Pekin. 

The most fortu- 
n a t e of all were 
those fellows who 
were stationed in 
the burnt-down 
Y a m e n of the 
Commissioner o f 
Hardly ever have I seen a sadder and more impressive 
sight than this beautiful palace, with its fine decorations, 
being mercilessly destroyed by a terrific fire. Through the 
large, picturesque gate, at the sides of which sat, impassive, 
two magnificently-carved lions of red and green stone, with 
round eyes and curly tails and manes, I gazed upon a sight 
that brought vividly to mind Dante's Inferno. The waves 
of heat were almost blinding if one ventured too near, and, 
half choked by the smoke, one gazed in awe at the tongues 
of flame bursting through on all sides, devouring everything 
within their reach, and shooting up into the air, where they 
became lost in clouds of black smoke. The crash of col- 
lapsing ceilings, the crackling of furniture, and every now 
and then fearful explosions of cartridges — there were thou- 
sands and thousands of rounds in the palace — filled one's 



ears. A few dead Chinamen in the foreground completed 
the picture, a picture as diaboHcal as one may ever wish to 
see. Except for their main walls of masonry, houses in 
China are mostly of wood, so that in a comparatively short 
time the rich palace was in ashes. 

Before the palace was set on fire the Japanese had taken 
from it large quantities of sycee silver amounting to several 
million Mexican dollars. Great wealth, nevertheless, was 
known to still have remained there. An American guard 
was placed on the ruins with instructions to dig out the 
treasure. Some forty Chinese prisoners were set to work, 
and in four days unearthed several million more dollars, 
all in sycee silver. A photograph which I took one day in 
the place shows a high mountain, about thirty feet long, 
thirty broad, and four high, of solid silver, the result of 
only one morning's digging among the ruins. Each lump 
weighed from four and a quarter pounds to seven pounds, 
and was of the purest silver. Some lumps were blackened 
by fire, but their value was undiminished. Each day the 
silver was conveyed from the palace into the foreign settle- 
ment by the American mule teams, and deposited in the 
headquarters of the 9th Infantry. The British and Japanese 
carried away similar sums from other official palaces, and, 
if I understood rightly, a part of the amount collected was to 
be divided among all the ofBcers and men who took part in 
the capture of the city, a tangible and sensible way of re- 
warding the brave fellows of all nations whose splendid 
work had saved the Tientsin foreign settlement from mas- 


The French soldier — Clothes and eatables — A touchin.g 
incident — The Russian troops — Not quite so black as they are 
painted — A fancy for jewellery and perfumery — The manner 
of the Russian soldier — An untidy looter — Musical boxes 
spared — Italian opera selections refreshing but out of place — 
A marvellous work of art — Evil spirits and their ways. 

A CONTRAST to the business capabilities of the American 
soldier, and the enterprise of the British and Japanese in 
the appropriation of other people's goods, was furnished by 
the apparent reluctance of the French to take any article 
of value. They occasionally selected some small trifle, in a 
sort of half-apologetic way, and their taste seemed to run 
particularly towards valueless old clothing, which they 
evidently proposed to adapt to their own wear. Cheap 
Chinese cotton pyjamas were carried away in preference 
to more precious fabrics, while eatables of all kinds, and 
tobacco, were in great demand. 

On the day when Tientsin fell, I happened to be in the 
centre of the town when I perceived some Frenchmen in a 
state of great agitation. In my best Parisian I asked them 
what was the matter. Whereupon with hoarse voices they 
shouted, waving their arms dangerously over my head: — 

" Mais vas done, vas done en prendre la, il y en a tant! " 
(" But go on, go and take some over there, there is such a 
lot of it!") 


"Mais tant dc quoif " ("But such a lot of what?") 
queried I, circumspectly, led to presume by their excitement 
that they had struck silver or gold bar. 

*' Mais z'as done; jc tc dis. Ccst du jambon, du jambon, 
comprends-tu? et il est excellent! " (" But go, I tell you, there 
is ham, ham, do you understand? and it is delicious ! ") So 
saying, the Frenchman who had talked loudest smacked his 
lips and his companions did the same. With apologies I 
said that I intended travelling in the opposite direction, but 
they shoved me towards the place of the ham. Down a lane 
we came upon another crowd of Frenchmen who were en- 
raptured over the find, and exclamations of complacency 
poured forth on all sides as ham after ham was passed out 
of the shop and laid on the pile in the middle of the road. 
Two or three of the younger folks gazed in ecstasy at the 
ever-growing mountain of cured pork, and the joy was little 
short of delirious when, the pile outside having grown to 
colossal proportions, the news came from within the shop 
that there were as many more hams still hanging in a newly- 
discovered room! A discussion arose on the difficulty of 
transport, and among deafening howls they decided that 
they could not carry more than they had already taken. 
Here came the nicest part of the story, which touched me 
greatly. Knowing that there were a number of British 
soldiers close by, they sent one of their men to tell them of 
their discovery, and to ask them whether they wanted to 
partake of the booty. 

" Je crois qu'ils en mangent aussi, les Anglais, du jambon! " 
C' I think the English eat ham too.") remarked one of the 
soldiers, " ga leiir fera plaisir d'en avoir " (" they will prob- 
ably be glad to have it "). he added good-naturedly. 

As provisions had been very scarce in Tientsin, this was 


indeed a gracious thought, and goes to show that, notwith- 
standing the animosity supposed to exist between British 
and French, none was felt by soldiers in the field. 

The Russian troops, being mostly drawn from Siberia, 
were somewhat more brusque and wild than the rest, most 
of the men having strong Mongolian features and general 


characteristics. But even they were not half as bad as they 
have been represented. The accounts one hears of them in 
America and Europe are indeed too ludicrous, and it is 
astonishing to find so many people who believe them. Like 
the American, the Russian smashes what he cannot 
carry away. He particularly fancies jewellery; rings and 
bracelets he keeps for personal ornament. He has a great 
objection to the inside works of a clock, and never seems 
satisfied until he hears the mainspring give way and jump 


out of the case. His happiness is complete when on his 
looting expeditions he strikes a perfumery shop; then, with 
nostrils wide open, he rejoices in pouring bottle after bottle 
of scent on his coat and trousers. He is silent, serious, and 
yet very polite, courteous, and full of humour. With a mad 
craving for destroying china vases as well as clocks, the 
Russian is probably the most untidy of all the Allied looters, 
throwing about everything that is of no use to him. He too 
values nothing except silver, gold, and furs. There is one 
thing, nevertheless, that he will respect. That is a musical 
box. He will wind it carefully, sit down quietly, listen atten- 
tively to its entire list of selections, keeping time with his 
foot, and when he has done with it and his musical ear is 
satisfied, he dusts it carefully, packs it in the handsomest 
piece of brocade within reach, and carries it triumphantly to 
camp, where he makes a present of it to one of his officers. 
In their homes the richer Chinese had quantities of musical 
boxes of all sizes and shapes. Some played Chinese popular 
airs, others gave selections from European operas and fa- 
vourite songs. It often seemed strange to hear the soft 
melody of the old " Traviata " or " Trovatore " go on at 
full speed, wound out by the muscular arm of a Cossack, in 
the midst of heaps of silk garments piled together, pigskin 
trunks with their picturesque brass locks smashed open, cab- 
inets torn down, windows smashed, furniture broken, frag- 
ments of what was once invaluable pottery strewn on the 
floor; cloisonne pieces and enamel dishes battered about and 
trodden upon ; a few dead bodies scattered in the courtyard 
of the house. Inadequate as a musical box may be in re- 
producing the beauty of any opera, people have no idea what 
pleasure it gave, and how restful it was to hear some sweet 
familiar tune which in a fashion brought back to the senses 

Vol. I. — 14 


everything pleasant, artistic, and refreshing, and for a mo- 
ment — only a moment — made the hearer forget the horrors 
of war, and even the extra horrors of this particular war. 

A marvellous work of art was found by a Cossack in the 
house of a mandarin. It was an ivory box no larger than a 
cigarette case. On touching a spring the lid sprang open 
and a nightingale — most beautifully proportioned and no 
bigger than a fiy — leaped out and stood perched on the edge 
of the box, where it whistled most beautifully like a real bird. 
The beak opened and closed as it sang, the tail wagged, and 
the wings flapped. Even the neck and legs were articulated. 
The miniature bird had been made in Switzerland. An 
inscription on the outside cover of the box stated that it had 
been m various well-known European collections, large sums 
having been paid for it. Probably the mandarin had dis- 
bursed, I dare say, two or three hundred pounds for it, as the 
Chinese are great admirers of works of patience and skill, 
and will pay very large sums to obtain them. 

Looking-glasses, large and small, played a very important 
part in the internal decoration of the larger and better 
houses, but the prettiest part of all of a Chinese house was 
generally the court, with its front door screen to prevent evil 
spirits from entering the precinct. Evil spirits, according 
to Chinese notions, always travel in a straight line, and are 
unable to turn corners. In that court, generally paved with 
slabs of stone, are pots of rare plants and gracefully distorted 
trees. A large earthenware receptacle full of water is never 
absent, and stands generally in front of the screen at the 
front door, or in the centre of the courtyard. Long poles 
are to be seen everywhere, and are used in summer-time, 
when mats are put up to shade the plants and people from 
the broiling sun. 


Chinese looters — Soldiers and Boxers in disguise — Disgusting 
greed — Buddhist priests — In official palaces — Digging for 
treasure — The less daring Chinamen — Flags of truce — Appeal- 
ing inscriptions — A prevailing impression. 

Taking things all round, there is no doubt that those who 
mostly benefited by the looting of Tientsin were the Chinese 
themselves. There were crowds of them outside every house 
where looting went on, and they sneaked in and out, carry- 
ing away valuable things. They had the advantage of 
knowing where to find them. Even Boxers and Imperial 
soldiers had hastily thrown off their uniform coats, and re- 
turned to the city disguised as coolies or peaceful citizens. 
Their greed was disgusting, and among themselves they 
acted like wild beasts. When one of them came out of 
a house with some loot, they sprang on him en masse, over- 
came him, knocked him down, and his loot was divided 
among the bystanders, who in their turn were attacked by 
others behind, until in the mclce many were injured, and the 
smarter ones got away with the goods. The Chinese whom 
one saw in Tientsin soon after its fall were ruffians of the 
very first water. Their faces alone were a sufficient certif- 
icate. What ghastly, murderous expressions were con- 
cealed under the servile, submissive manner towards every 
European that went by! 



Then, again, numbers of Buddhist priests prowled suspi- 
ciously in the crowd. They were to be seen everywhere, but 
especially near official residences and where treasure was to 
be obtained. These fellows, these chief instigators of the 
Boxer trouble, had evidently crept back into the city under 

(■m.NL-.^i ij 

the mask of religion for the double purpose of looting and 

When I visited the palace of the Commissioner of Salt, 
held by the Americans, I took a walk round the site with 
an officer. We discovered, in a secluded part of the palace, 
one of these priests and a mate digging among the hot 
ashes. They had already dug out a quantity of silver and 
all the official Commissioner's seals, which the monk quickly 
proceeded to hide in his sleeve when he saw us. The Amer- 
ican officer pointed his revolver at him and called for a 


guard, while I confined myself to taking a snapshot of him 
with my camera, as he tremblingly went down on his knees 
and begged for mercy. The guard arrived and the looters 
were made prisoners. 

For days and days after the fall of the city one saw crowds 
of men, women, and children, half naked, digging for treas- 
ure among the ruins of burnt houses. There they were, 
dozens of them, scraping off the ashes and debris as fast as 
they could with their fingers, until their nails and finger-tips 
were worn and bleeding. Occasionally they struck a few 
strings of cash or a piece of silver, and then there was a 
scuffle and a row, with mutual blows administered in pro- 

The less daring Chinamen whom one saw, peeping out of 
their houses or standing tremblingly in their doorways, 
seemed scared out of their senses every time that a Euro- 
pean came in sight. For additional safety they each flew 
one, or even two, flags of truce made of paper or cloth. 
Specially careful individuals, who valued their lives, had 
sewn a white flag to their coats in front and another behind, 
lest the flags carried in the hands should perchance not be 
sufflcient protection. It was a constant remark among the 
Allied officers that China would be a paradise if one could 
keep the Chinese in the same behaviour that they displayed 
after their defeat. They bowed and " chin-chinned " to 
every " foreign devil " that went by, those sitting down 
springing up on their feet each time that a soldier passed. 
Tea and cold water were served out to anybody who wanted 
it, and the stolid, blunt Chinaman behaved to everybody 
with a civility never before shown by the sons of the Heaven- 
ly Empire. 

The appealing inscriptions in English, German, and 


French, on the doorways and on their flags of truce, were 
amusing beyond words. They were written in trembling 
handwriting, mostly by Chinese who had an imperfect 
knowledge of English or French : " I am a poor man, allies 
officer please not rob me;" "Great Japan spare me;" 

"Inside belong 
friend England, 
please do not kill." 
A common one 
was " French pro- 
tection " or " Vive 
la France," and 
appeals to the Ger- 
man Emperor were 
also frequent. 
The majority of in- 
scribed entreaties 
were to the Japan- 
ese, probably be- 

THE FLAG OF TRUCE ^^^^^ ^J^^ ChineSC 

could write them in their own characters, which read 
the same in both languages, but also because Japan was 
at first regarded by the Chinese populace as the leading 
nation in the war, and the one most to be feared. Even 
in their little flags of truce, always decorated with the col- 
ours of the favourite country, one hardly met with any 
British or American flags. Out of a hundred people, ninety 
carried a diminutive Japanese emblem, four the French 
flag, four the German, one the British, and one the Amer- 
ican flag. The reason of this was not only the difficulty 
of depicting the flags of America and England, but also, 
in no small degree, the impression prevailing among the 



ignorant Chinese population that the British had been badly 
beaten in Africa, and would not be able to fight nor send 

Any Chinese found in the settlement or neighbourhood 
without a flag or a pass was instantly made prisoner or 


A walk through the town— Still alive— The Red Cross— A pan- 
demonium — Dividing loot — A pawnshop — Furs, gold and silk 

I TOOK a stroll through the town. The streets were narrow, 
and everywhere you could smell dead bodies decomposing 
in the fearful heat. You saw plenty of them about. Here 
you stumbled over a dead Boxer, there, two or three Im- 
perial soldiers lay in a heap, fearfully gashed by a shell. 
Did you not hear a moan? Listen! Yes! That fat China- 
man lying in a pool of blood was still alive. As I stooped 
over him to ask him if he wanted some water — the only as- 
sistance one could render him — he closed his eyes. He did 
not answer, and held his breath, pretending to be dead. 
Many were the poor devils that were left about to die for 
want of assistance, as the Red Cross did not extend its work 
to the Chinese. 

Avoiding the streets where all the houses were on fire, and 
peeping into every door — where one saw sights of all kinds 
— here we were at last before a large gateway, into and out 
of which a crowd of Europeans, Pathans, Americans, and 
Chinese were madly rushing. The fellows who violently 
forced their way in had nothing, those who were shot out 
by the people pushing behind them were balancing with dif- 


ficulty, on their heads or upstretched arms, large boxes over- 
flowing with goods, or large bundles, or handfuls of jewellery 
or furs. This promised to be an interesting sight. I went 
in. The pressure of the crowd was extreme. One ran short 
of breath almost to suffocation. Going through the door — 
the narrowest point, where every one was trying to get in at 
once — one felt one's ribs were giving way to the pressure in 
front, behind, and sideways, but at last, when inside the 
building, a large, dark hall, one could breathe freely again, 


wipe the copious perspiration running down forehead, 
cheeks, and neck, and sit down on the floor for a while to 
v^ take the needed rest. 

But what a noise! the buzzing of the crowd fighting its 
way in and out, and running through this hall and out into 
the next portion of the building, the din of metal being tested 
on the stone floor, the wild cries and yells of looters who in 
their turn were looted by neighbouring looters, crossed and 
mingled with one another. Coming from the brilliant sun, 
your eyes needed to become accustomed to the light of this 
first hall ; then you saw to your right a number of European 
soldiers squatting down, counting silver coins, of which they 
had a pile, sorting out jewellery, of which they had another 
pile, and big lumps of silver, of which they had a third pile. 


There were about eight of them, and according to the gen- 
eral idea I suppose they ought to have quarrelled, even 
fought with revolvers in hand, over the fair division of the 
stolen property, but they did not. They were as quiet, as 
well-behaved, as matter-of-fact over their employment as 
so many honest men! One might have thought that they 
were carrying on a legal brotherly trade, of which they were 
now sharing the due profits. 

Once in the human current, oiae. pushed, his way through 
the next door. One was lifted right off one's feet, and, if 
one was fortunate enough to avoid being jammed against 
either pillar of the door, one found oneself in a spacious 
courtyard crammed with people, empty trunks, boxes, 
baskets, clothes, hats, broken furniture and china, pewter 
candlesticks, bronzes and goods of every description scat- 
tered pell-mell everywhere. Apparently the chief point of 
interest was yet further on. All the people were forcing 
their way into the next building. Gradually working one's 
way, one succeeded in penetrating into a huge room, but 
so dark that it took some time before one could see any- 
thing at all, though there was plenty to hear ! 

What pandemonium! and how the eyes smarted and 
ached from the dust and dirt with which the air seemed 
thick, while throats were dry and coughing. Eventually, 
when my eyes got accustomed to the dim light, I stooped to 
see where I was putting my feet, for priceless brocades, 
bronze candlesticks, furs, and other such things, were under- 
foot. A large box dropped from close to the ceiling, some 
thirty feet above, and came within an inch of striking me 
on the head. I say that it came from near the ceiling, for 
on looking up to remonstrate I perceived a Pathan, who 
had climbed to the top of the bamboo scaffolding that served 


as shelves, into which the room had been divided, leaving 
narrow passages between scaffold and scaffold. This man, 
regardless of the safety of his fellow-beings standing below, 
dropped another large box, no less than four feet square and 
two deep, which, like the preceding one, burst right open 
on striking the ground. Here a dozen arms outstretched 
from all sides pulled at valuable furs, such as silver fox, otter, 
white wolf, seal, squirrel, all lining gaudy coats of magnifi- 
cent brocade or silk. Some were embroidered in gold, 
others in delicate silks, and were the patient work of years. 

The Pathan, climbing down with the agility of a monkey 
from his high point of vantage, was just in time to snatch out 
of the box a bundle containing silver coins, a gold comb, 
several gold rings, two bracelets, and various other trinkets. 
He now threw the empty box aside and proceeded to inspect 
the contents of the first box, which was below. 

I never saw such lovely furs. Here were two most beau- 
tiful long coats of yellow brocade, lined with white Persian 
unborn lamb, and yet another coat of the best Tibetan goat. 
As the Mohammedan dived further and further into the 
box, out came more sealskin, more silver fox, astrachan, 
more magnificent embroideries. 

*' They are beautiful," I remarked in Hindustani to the 

" Neh, Sahib, biira crab! " (" No, sir, they are very bad! ") 
he answered, with a disappointed air. He, too, cared for 
nothing but gold and silver. Everything else was of no 
value to him. He threw all aside and proceeded to undo the 
numberless bundles that were stacked on the tall shelves to 
his right. These too, to his disgust, contained only silks 
and brocades, or rolls of silk crape. 

The noise, dust, and heat inside the room were unbearable, 


and when to all this was added the sight of several promi- 
nent Tientsin residents, of no mean rotund proportions, 
climbing overhead to the top shelves (the lower ones having 
already been looted), I thought it was high time for me to 
depart. I forced my way out of the pawnshop — for it was 
a pawnshop — and when I got out into the open the stifling 
air seemed quite cool and refreshing by comparison with the 
foul temperature indoors. It is well known that pawnshops 
in China do not exactly correspond to ours, but are used 
more as storehouses by all the natives, rich and poor alike. 
In winter all the summer clothes, jewels, &c., are stored in 
them for safe keeping and preservation, and in summer all 
the furs and warm clothing. Money and valuables not 
needed are also left in safe keeping of these pawnshops, 
which are under Government supervision. 


The ramparts of the city wall — Modern rifles and obsolete 
weapons — A defiant Manchu — The looting of the looters — 
Handy polyglot abilities — A few plain truths — Three chapters 
of a story in a nutshell — Fortunes made and lost. 

While all this went on in the streets, the ramparts of the 
wall were strewn with dead bodies of soldiers and Boxers. 
Many who had been killed several days before the capitula- 
tion of the city had been pitched 
down into the street below. The 
bodies were partly eaten up by 
dogs, and what remained of them 
was in a fearful state of decompo- 
sition. The majority of soldiers had 

, ,,.1111 A COMMON SIGHT 

been wounded m the head when 

peeping over the wall to snipe at our men. By the side 
of those last fallen near the loopholes on the top of the 
wall lay stacks of gingals,Mannlicher carbines, Winchesters, 
swords, spears, tridents, and thousands of rounds of ammu- 
nition. In addition to these modern weapons, a great num- 
ber of muzzle-loading guns were found that had been used 
in the defence of Tientsin, and near these one picked up 
small cane and cardboard tubes used by the Chinese to 
measure the gunpowder charge when loading them. 
Pouches filled with lead bullets were scattered about on the 


ground, also quantities of nails, pebbles, and other such ar- 
ticles, which were added in the charge to the bullet to cause 
additional damage to the enemy. 

Roaming along, attracted at every turn by some extra- 
ordinary sight, one came again to the South Gate of the city. 

The striking feature of a tall, defiant Manchu soldier 
stared me in the face. He sat motionless by the guard- 
house near the familiar rack, on which stood a number of 
old, rusty spears and tridents, the shattered remains of 
ancient Chinese protection. His hands were tied behind 
his back — for he was a prisoner — and his torn coat exposed 
in the middle of his chest a deep gash several inches long, 
caused by a bayonet or a sword. The remains of his coat 
and his trousers were soaked in blood, and the wound, very 
recent, was still bleeding profusely, and must have caused 
him intense suffering. But not a plea for mercy, not a 
groan of pain, came from his lips. He sat there stolidly and 
perfectly upright, with a terrible look of pride mingled with 
contempt on his otherwise impassive face. His jaws were 
tightly closed, his eyes, which never winked, slowly moved 
their piercing pupils from one figure to the other of the 
noisy crowd of foreigners who were rushing with their loot 
out of the city. Further on, outside the same gate, two 
heads of Chinese swung on the wall, strung by their pig- 
tails. Evidently two Boxer traitors. 

But enough of these horrible sights. In one hour, going 
through Tientsin city, one could that day see enough dis- 
gusting scenes to last one a lifetime. 

As I have said, the authorities, with Captain Bayly at 
their head, allowed free loot the first day ; but on the second 
day, when people, encouraged by the impunity of the day 
before, came to convey their booty into the foreign Conces- 


sions, they found to their surprise that it was duly seized by 
officers of the various nationaHties. A looting of the looter, 
as it were. 

The amusing part of all this was that, to avoid unneces- 
sary friction, officers were allowed to confiscate the pre- 
sumed loot brought into the Settlement by their respective 
countrymen only, and at this point a knowledge of several 
languages came in handy for looters. When rickshaws and 
coolies carrying the plunder were stopped by French officers 
the plunderers would reply in German, on which the French- 
men would politely salute and declare that they did not 
understand German, nor had they any power to interfere 
with German subjects. The British officer, who next chal- 
lenged the looter, would be met by a jabber of French, and 
he too would bow courteously and acknowledge that sub- 
jects of the much-respected French Republic were not under 
his jurisdiction. Thus with regretful eyes each would beg 
the pillager to continue his journey — with his spoils — until, 
if he knew languages enough to carry him through, he 
would eventually reach home in safety. 

So folks — not military — who were fortunate enough to 
speak various foreign tongues brought home quite a nice 
collection of things, whereas others, of less polyglot abilities, 
had to endure the hardship of compulsory separation from 
their much-valued pickings. If they remonstrated, a few 
plain truths were told them in addition; their names — 
usually somebody else's — were taken down, and many a rash 
pakrfamilios was made to feel pretty uncomfortable for days 
to come by such cool remarks of the officers as: " We do 
not know yet what punishment will be meted out to you, 
but you will hear," " Martial law condemns all looters to 
be shot without trial," or some such comforting words. 


which were enough to eradicate, even in the most enthusi- 
astic, the dangerous mania of collecting Chinese curios 
without paying for them. 

Many amusing tricks were nevertheless played on the 
officers in charge. Two marines had found 15,000 dollars 
in silver and gold. They deposited the precious load in the 
bottom of a water-cart, filled it with dirty water, and, with- 
out arousing the slightest suspicion, wheeled it safely into 
the settlement. Chapter two of the same story saw the two 
noiivcaiix riches hopelessly intoxicated, standing drinks all 
round, and confiding in everybody how they had acquired 
the large fortune and brought the treasure in without being 
detected. Chapter three; the silver and gold, less what had 
been spent in drinks, was duly seized by the authorities, 
and the men were placed in irons pending court-martial. 

Others made and lost similar and even greater fortunes 
within a few hours, but as the confiscated loot was divided 
among the brave soldiers who captured the city, no one 
(after getting over the first shock) thought the treatment 
unfair. On the contrary, one and all were glad that the 
troops should have all, and no one grudged that they 
should be rewarded to the fullest extent. 








Across the Grand Canal — The Viceroy's Yamen — Important 
documents — Arms destroyed — The Viceroy's apartments — The 
War Office — Drill-books — Scientific books — The Foreign Of- 
fice — Foreign treaties — Documents referring to the Boxer 
movement — The Female Boxer Society — Captured guns — The 
value of two heads of foreigners — Rewards for facing the enemy 
— Fighting in the day and cash payments at night — Articles 
supplied to the Boxers by the Government — A much-rewarded 
lieutenant — Receipts growing bigger as the Allies advanced — 
By the Viceroy's command — Rewards to Boxers and their 
families — The last entry in the Viceroy's day-book. 

Across the Grand Canal, outside the city wall, on the north- 
east corner, a bridge led to the Viceroy's Yamen. One 
would have thought that, as the military operations of the 
Chinese were directed mainly from this point — the " War 
Ofifice," as it were, of China — our Intelligence Department, 
with the aid of interpreters, who were plentiful, might have 
paid a visit to this place, where documents of no mean im- 
portance might have been discovered, and much informa- 
tion obtained which might have proved useful. But no. 
On the contrary. They seemed to experience difficulty in 
distinguishing between what was really important and what 
was not. Here is an instance. 

A missionary gentleman, who was as conversant with 
Chinese as he was with English, having prowled into the 

Viceroy's buildings and discovered some papers of great 
Vol. I.— 15 


value, immediately went to notify the British authorities, to 
whom he generously offered all the documents with the an- 
nexed translations. He was in return treated far from civilly. 

Previous to the occupation of the Palace by the Russians, 
the Chinese mob was allowed to do all the looting it liked 
inside, and at last orders were given to clear out all the 
papers in the offices, as the buildings were to be used for 
barracks. Some eighty coolies with as many brooms were 
despatched with instructions to sweep out into the canal all 
that there was in the Yamen. 

I thought it might prove interesting to go and see the 
place before the order was entirely carried out. 

The Yamen was approached by a short, narrow road 
along the canal, upon which some four or five bomb-proof 
shelters, well sandbagged, had been constructed. The en- 
trance was through a court with the usual wide-open- 
mouthed, curly-tailed sea-lions at either side of the gate, 
and in one corner one's attention was at once drawn to a 
heap of Mannlicher, Mauser and Winchester rifles, which 
had been captured and rendered useless by the Russians. 
A pretty cannon with its breech broken lay on one side, and 
close by another heap of single and two-handed swords, 
spears, and tridents as used by the Boxers. The Russians 
were in temporary possession of the premises, and they 
readily gave me permission to enter and inspect anything I 

Court after court was entered, the apartments and offices 
of the Viceroy and officers standing around the various 
courts, which were handsomely ornamented with quaint 
plants, bronze vases, high lanterns, and incense-burners. 

Let us enter the part of the building which was used as 
the War Office. A pile of large books thrown on the floor 



caught my sight. I opened them. They were drill books 
for the Chinese army, some for the artillery, some for the 
infantry, others for the cavalry. The various exercises and 


drills were fully demonstrated in coloured pictures, a few of 
which 1 have reproduced on the fly-leaves of this bogk. 

Further on was another neat pile of smaller volumes. 
They were the log-books of the various men-of-war, kept in 
the most accurate fashion day by day, according to Euro- 
pean fashion, and up to the day of the capture of Taku. 

There were also foreign scientific books on explosives, on 
navigation, on gunnery, on chemistry, on machinery of all 
kinds, and endless photographs of big guns, rifles and pro- 
jectiles of every possible pattern. Maps and charts in Chi- 
nese were lying pell-mell everywhere, and beautiful models 
of warships were smashed and thrown into one corner. 

I passed on through court after court into the Foreign 


Office. The confusion here was even greater than in the 
previous department, as all the papers of minutes, mainly 
consisting of correspondence, in long white and red 
envelopes sprinkled with gold, were here. These envelopes- 
lay about a foot deep all over the floor. Coming from the 
brilliant sunlight, I had not seen what I was treading on. 
Under my feet were some handsomely-bound books. I 
stooped and opened one. It was nothing less than the 
original treaty between the Chinese and British Govern- 
ments, and bore the signature of Li-hung-chang and Sir 
Thomas Wade. 

I picked up the next. The treaty of Tonkin between the 
French and Chinese. A third. A treaty between Japan and 
China. And so on. 

A number of coolies entered and began to sweep all these 
valuable papers into the canal. 

In the Viceroy's rooms were found the most astonishing 
documents referring to the Boxer movement. 

We have seen how Mr. Carles telegraphed to Lord Salis- 
bury that the Viceroy's conduct had been very correct, and 
how thereupon instructions were at once sent out to afford 
the worthy gentleman all help and protection. It is possible 
that he may have been dragged into infamy by others, and 
by Imperial orders; but here let me give you the translations 
and one or two photographs of documents which speak for 

Probably more curious and the most revolting of all was 
the receipt by which it appeared that the " Female Boxer 
Society " had presented the head of a foreigner to the au- 
thorities, for which gift the Viceroy had handed over 50 

This receipt was written on a yellow paper slip, and had 


been given by some old medicine woman — a kind of witch — 
who Hved in a junk on the river. 

Captured guns were each apparently reckoned at half the 
value of foreign devils' heads. 



" June 19. Reward to Major Cheng-kuo-Chun for capt- 
uring two guns (American), 50 taels." 

" June 19. Reward to Lien Chun for fighting at Tientsin. 
Three ying, forty-six officers, 10 taels each; 1,455 men, 4 
taels each. Total, 6,280 taels." 

Here is another document showing that the decapitation 
of foreigners was encouraged: 


"June 21. (5th moon, 25th day.) Document written 
on red paper. Receipt given by Colonel Wan-Yi-T'sai, of 
the Lien Chun Chili field forces, for two heads of foreigners 
(American marines), 100 taels." 

The largest rewards were paid for any trifling victory 
scored by the Chinese, or even for the display of courage 
enough to meet the enemy. Many of these rewards, it will 
be noticed, were paid to officers in the Imperial army. 

" Reward to Lieutenant Hu-Tien-Chia (7 yings) for their 
victory over the enemy for three successive days, June 21, 
3,500 taels." 

" June 22. Reward to Colonel Han, 500 taels." 

" Reward to one of Nieh's men for capturing a foreign 
rifle, 6 taels. Paid on June 23, by order of General Hsii." 

" June 23. Receipt from General Nieh, dated 5 th moon, 
27th day. Taels 8,000." 

This document, like many others, had several drops of 
candle-grease on it, and by its date fully proved that fighting 
was done in the day, and immediate cash payment made at 

" June 24. Reward to Lien-Yang-Liang-Hui, 210 taels." 

" June 24. 5,000 dragon dollars borrowed by Hu-Tien- 
Chia (General in General Nieh's army), of the Wu-Wei- 

*' June. Paid to the transport agent, U-Kui-Ch'a (2 ying, 
1,020 men), 400 taels." 

" June 29. Receipt from General Nieh for 60,000 taels to 
pay the allowance for the 5th moon to the Wu-Wei-Chiin 
(name of the corps)." 

A list of articles supplied to the Boxers by the Govern- 
ment and paid for by General Chii: 

"Yellow and red silk, 60 pieces; red foreign cloth, 22 


pieces; best satin for jackets, 10 pieces; red crape, 4 pieces; 
white crape, i piece. Dated 6th moon, 3rd day (or June 

This was a white document with a red strip on the right 
corner, and stated that money had already been received for 
the above goods to the sum of 600 taels. 

Judging by the amount of cash that passed through his 
hands. Lieutenant Hu-Tien-Chia seemed to have dis- 
tinguished himseh' on many occasions. Two further large 
payments were registered in his name. 

"July I. Reward to Lieutenant Hu-Tien-Chia, of the 
Wu-Wei-Chiin (5 yings), for a victory over the foreigners, 
2,500 taels." 

" July 2, Reward to Lieutenant Hu-Tien-Chia, of the 
Wu-Wei-Chiin, 5 yings (a camp of 500 men), 10,000 taels." 

This document, too, had several drops of candle-grease on 
it, showing that these transactions were carried on at night, 
when ready money was paid. 

Such receipts as the following could leave little doubt in 
the minds, even of the most sceptical, that Boxers were from 
the beginning supported by the Government. 

" Receipt from the Prefect of Tientsin given to the Vice- 
roy for 24,066 katties of best white flour supplied in 26th 
year of Kwang-su, 6th moon (July 1900), to Wang-Cheng- 
Teh, the general leader of the Boxers (Tung-dai), a military 
organisation of volunteers." 

" July. Receipt from General Chou-T'ing-Ch'en for 
pacifying money to the Viceroy, 7,000 taels." 

A receipt from General Ma for an unspecified sum to 
reward soldiers who had fought in Tientsin. 

Also another receipt from the same General for 40,000 
taels for rations for soldiers. 


" July. Reward to General Chi's men (artillery), 200 

" Reward to the police at the Viceroy's Yamen, also spies, 
&c., 50 taels." 

" Reward to Lien Chiin cavalry, 2 ying; 9 officers, 1 1 taels 
each; 206 sergeants and men, 5 taels each." 

" Receipt for the money to be paid to 210 men (70 to be 
added to each ying) of the Lien Chiin for carrying com- 
munications, despatches, &c., and for artillery work, 609 

" Reward for digging trenches outside the South Gate, 
300 taels." 

" July 4. Reward to Major Chiang-Shun-Tah's men, 500 

" July 4. Reward for bravery in facing the enemy to the 
ever-victorious General Pien, 500 taels." 

" Also to tw^o subordinates, Huai Lien (belonging to Huai 
Lien army), 200 taels." 

" July 4. Reward for bravery in facing the enemy to 
General Chou-T'ing-Ch'en, commanding three yings, 1,500 

• It is to be remarked tha't rewards grew bigger as time 
went on and the Allies were gaining ground. 

" July 4. Reward for bravery in facing the enemy at Ma- 
Chia-k'ou (a place near Tientsin), to Major Wan-Yi-T'sai 
(Lien Chiin), 500 taels." 

This is the same man who, in June, received a reward for 
the heads of two American marines. 

Then I saw a most interesting record of orders issued by 
the Viceroy. The document ran: 

" The Viceroy has verbally commanded that the following 
Generals are to be rewarded for courage in meeting the 


enemy: General Pien (ever victorious), 500 taels; Major 
Jang, 500 taels; Major Joe, Major Wang, and Major Lu, 500 
taels each; General Doh (in charge of three camps, 1,500 
men), 500 taels for each camp, or 1,500 taels in all; Major 
Jih, 200 taels; 7th moon (July), 8th day." 

A list was found of Boxers killed and wounded in their 
encounters with foreigners. This document was on red 
paper, and appended was the receipt for 3,550 taels paid by 
the Government as a reward to those injured, and to the 


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nocrMKNi- lorxn ix viceroys yamen 

families of the deceased — 100 taels for each man killed, and 
30 for each wounded. This document bore the date of the 
6th moon (July), 15th day, or three days before Tientsin was 
taken. Other documents found showed that the sum of 100 
taels for each man killed, and 30 for each man wounded, was 
the recognised reward paid by the Government, through the 
Viceroy, to the Boxers. 

A great many similar documents were found, bearing the 
date of the nth ol the same moon. 


" July 9. Reward to General Chi-Ying-Shan's men (ar- 
tillery), 200 taels and 50 taels." 

All these orders were recorded in the Viceroy's book as 
having been verbally given during the night by the Viceroy 
himself to his Military Secretary. 

Another document showed that, on petition, a sum of 100 
taels was granted to the families of two men killed by British 
shells while guarding the armoury in the city, and 30 taels 
each to three men who were wounded on the same occasion. 
(This document was dated 6th moon, 14th day, or four days 
before Tientsin was taken.) 

It would take too long to reproduce here the hundreds 
of such papers found. I have limited myself to giving a 
selection of representative ones. 

Interesting was the last entry in the Viceroy's day-book, 
showing that the last payment made by him — the handsome 
sum of 10,000 taels, to the head Boxer, Chang-Teh-Cheng — 
occurred only on the day before the city of Tientsin was 
captured by the Allies. The entry bore the date 6th moon, 
1 6th day (July 12). 

Evidently matters were getting desperate, and there was 
no more time to keep accurtite accounts of moneys disbursed 
on behalf of the Government. 







Yu-lu's doings — A proclamation — Banishment and blows — 
Fencing and boxing — Children of the Government — Pardon 
for past faults — Christians and Missionaries — Emperor's sar- 
casm — A message to Queen Victoria — England and China. 

Whether acting on his own initiative or under secret in- 
structions from the Throne — it matters Httle to the reader 
which — the fact is proved that Yu-lu, the Viceroy of Chili, 
was providing arms, ammunition, and food to the Boxers, 
while issuing edicts and proclamations, such as the one 
here appended, which were calculated to put foreigners off 
their guard. 

To do him no injustice, I reproduce one of his last proc- 
lamations in full. It may be noticed that the punishment 
of one hundred blows, usually inflicted for petty theft, was 
hardly adequate for what was then regarded as the crime 
of rebellion; nor, probably, would any one else in Tientsin, 
except the British Consul, have found the behaviour of the 
Viceroy " quite correct " in offering to pardon men guilty 
of wholesale murder and theft for past faults. 

The Viceroy's proclamation, after setting forth an Im- 
perial edict issued early in the year, went on to say: 

" It appears by the law that all idle persons who, instead 
of attending to their duties, devote themselves to teaching 


people fencing and boxing, and all who go to them for such 
instruction, or those who give public exhibitions of fencing 
to make money and thereby excite the imagination of the 
people, are acting contrary to the law and render them- 
selves liable to it. Such teachers are liable to arrest and 
banishment to 1,000 li (333 miles), after receiving one hun- 
dred blows; while those who go to them for instruction 


are liable to one hundred blows and three years' banish- 
ment, and at the end of that time to be escorted by a 
guard to their native place and kept under observation. If 
shops, or inns, or monasteries shelter such persons with- 
out reporting the same, or if the ti paos fail to arrest them, 
the law commands that they shall receive eighty blows. 
Thus, to teach fencing and boxing is punishable by law, 
and much more so is the ignorant misconduct of the people 
who become excited by ruffians from other provinces. Their 
teaching consists of making charms and reciting spells by 
ivhich the people become possessed of power to resist fire- 
arms. They believe this, and organise the Ih-hwo Ch'uan, 
and practice boxing and fencing, thereby extending their 


influence in all directions. They are known to oppose re- 
ligions, make trouble and disturb the peace, and when the 
Government troops go to disperse them they dare to resist 
them. They have been warned by both civil and military 
authorities. Some appear to comply in the face of the of- 
ficials, but continue their evil practices behind their backs. 
We regard all people, whether Christians or not, as children 
of the Government, and all disputes among them should be 
laid before the ofificials and left to their judgment. But 
the people do just the contrary. They collect mobs and 
burn down property, exact ransom, and injure others, while 
resisting the Imperial troops. Their actions are those of 
robbers and bandits. You all have lives and property; what 
profit is it to you to be excited to this foolishness and wilfully 
to violate the law? Strict orders are now given to local 
authorities to arrest such foolish fellows, and I hereby 
notify the gentry and every class in every district that all 
who gather people together and organise secret societies 
are breaking the law% and those who disturb the peace and 
rob violently cannot be excused by the law. All who erect 
sheds for boxing instruction or act in such a way as to 
cause a rising, are to be arrested by authority and severely 
punished. All ignorant persons who have been tempted 
to join the society and practice boxing should repent at 
once, and discontinue their evil habits and become loyal 
subjects. If they repent they will be pardoned for past fault, 
and if they do not, and still continue their evil practices, 
the local authorities will punish them severely without 
leniency. The common people and Christians are all sub- 
jects, and are to be treated with fatherly sympathy without 
distinction, but when disputes arise among them they ought 
to be submitted to the authorities. They should not pre- 


sumptuously act on the dictates of angry feeling and give 
cause for offence. The Christians also should not make 
trouble nor oppress the people, nor persuade the mission- 
aries to give them protection in order to get the best of a 
suit. The local authorities should judge the cases without 
distinction and according to law. Both our people and 
Christians should occupy themselves with their own duties 
and avoid jealousy and suspicions, and give due weight to 
public harmony and peace. All of you respect this; tremble 
and obey." 

A quaint document was the telegram sent by the Emperor 
of China to Her Majesty Queen Victoria. 

A subtle tone of sarcasm runs through it from begin- 
ning to end, but especially in regard to the aims of foreign 
nations who " might be tempted to exploit or despoil " his 


" Pekin, July 3, 1900. 

" The Emperor of China to Her Majesty the Queen of 
England, Empress of India, sendeth greetings: 

" Since the opening of commercial intercourse between 
foreign nations and China, the aspirations of Great Britain 
have always been after commercial extension, and not ter- 
ritorial aggrandisement. 

" Recently, dissensions having arisen between the Chris- 
tians and the people of Chili and Shantung, certain evilly- 
disposed persons availed themselves of the occasion to make 
disturbances, and these having extended so rapidly, the 
treaty Powers, suspecting that the rioters might have been 
encouraged by the Imperial Government, attacked and 
captured the Taku forts. The sufferings arising from this 


act of hostility have been great, and the situation has been 
much invoh'ed. 

" In consideration of the facts that of the foreign com- 
merce of China more than 70 per cent, belongs to England, 
that the Chinese tariff is lower than that of any other coun- 
try, and that the restrictions on it are fewer, British mer- 
chants have during the last few decades maintained relations 
with Chinese merchants at the ports as harmonious as if they 
had both been members of the same family. But now com- 
plications have arisen, mutual mistrust has been engendered, 
and the situation having thus changed for the worse, it is 
felt that, if China cannot be supported in maintaining her 
position, foreign nations, looking on so large and populous 
a country, so rich in natural resources, might be tempted to 
exploit or despoil it, and perhaps differ among themselves 
with respect to their conflicting interests. 

" It is evident that this would create a state of matters 
which would not be advantageous to Great Britain, a coun- 
try which views commerce as her greatest interest. 

" China is now engaged in raising men and means to cope 
with these eventualities, but she feels that if left to herself she 
might be unequal to the occasion should it ever arrive, and 
therefore turns to England in the hope of procuring her 
good ofifices in bringing about a settlement of the difficulties 
which have arisen with the other treaty Powers. 

" The Emperor makes this frank exposure of what is near- 
est to his heart, and hopes that this appeal to Her Majesty 
the Queen-Empress may be graciously taken into Her con- 
sideration, and an answer vouchsafed to it at the earliest 
possible moment." 


Missionaries — Good and bad — Christianity at the point of the 
sword — Under a terrific strain — Missionaries and the Boxer 
movement — A political as well as a religious movement against 
all foreigners alike — Providence and machine guns — Practical 
missionaries wanted — Timothy Richards — A power in himself 
— Missionary refugees — In fancy dress — Undisguised merri- 
ment of the Chinese. 

It is the general impression that, during the recent war, 
the Chinese have been treated with unnecessary harshness 
by the Allies, " for, after all," I have often heard people 
exclaim, " the Chinese did no further harm than murder 
the German Minister, and that might have happened any- 
where." Again, people who know slightly better will argue 
that, if one or two missionaries have been killed, that is 
their own fault, for it is no business of theirs to go to foreign 
countries to worry the natives. This is all very well, but 
whatever one's personal feelings may be towards tactless 
and incompetent heralds of the faith of Christ in distant 
lands, one cannot help being shocked and revolted at the 
barbarity with which men, women, and children of one's 
own blood have been treated by the Chinese. Besides, 
there were among these martyrs many — indeed, the ma- 
jority — who were far from tactless and incompetent, and 
were even held in great esteem for the good they had done 


to the natives, whether converts or otherwise, by supplying 
them with food, medicines, and medical advice. 

There are in China, as in every other heathen country, 
good missionaries and bad ones. The bad ones generally 
seem to escape unhurt. Nor would there be much ground 
of complaint if the heathens, in their desire to settle dis- 
puted points of religion, would limit themselves to killing 




^^B^^^^tffl^^Htf' — -^aflW^^" 




outright the male portion of those who try to convert them, 
after the fashion which I have heard advocated on several 
occasions during the present war by missionaries who de- 
clare that Christianity should be spread through China at 
the point of the sword. In fact, in a lecture given by a dis- 
tinguished missionary,, he expressed his opinion that every 
Chinaman should be seized, and should have the choice 
given him of becoming a Christian or having his head cut 

Vol. I.— 16 


It must be admitted, however, that when the eminent 
missionary spoke in these terms he was speaking under a 
terrific strain, for, after giving up forty years of his Hfe to 
educate, to help, to defend the Chinese, and after being 
their devoted friend and protector in the most trying cir- 
cumstances, he had now been abandoned by them, his house 
and property destroyed, and even the graves of his dearest 
belongings had been desecrated and the bones scattered to 
the winds. In such circumstances one could hardly blame 
him for expressing such strong views; and, indeed, those 
who knew what prompted the feelings of the much-respect- 
ed orator felt that those particular Chinese who could per- 
petrate such outrages should not even have the option of 
becoming Christians left them. 

But, on the other hand, as there are missionaries and 
missionaries, there are also Chinese and Chinese, and, as in 
the case of missionaries, it is usually the good ones that 
suffer, while the bad ones get away unpunished. This was 
certainly the case in the Chinese War. 

People go too far when they declare that the Boxer 
movement was brought about entirely by missionaries. It 
was a political and religious movement, directed against all 
white men and their civilisation, their books, their railways, 
their telegraphs, their ships, and everything belonging to 
them. The missionaries were not attacked because they 
were missionaries, but because they were foreigners. Rail- 
way engineers and their wives, traders and merchants, were 
similarly attacked, regardless of their position. The mis- 
sionaries suffered more in the present war because there 
were swarms of them all over the Chinese Empire, in places 
in the interior, difficult of access, where they lived defence- 
less and helpless, trusting in God for protection in case of 


clanger. A machine-gun would be a further security, and 
in the future the various large mission-houses, hundreds of 
miles inland, should not be without one. 

There is plenty of good work to be done in China by 
sensible, practical missionaries, not so much in Christian- 
ising the natives as in teaching them what is of most con- 
sequence in our civilisation, science, art, industries, medi- 
cine and agriculture. There are a few men of this stamp 
already in China, such as that really great and noble man, 
Timothy Richards, who is beloved and revered in all China.. 
He is a simple, good-humoured, tactful, and absolutely sen- 
sible man, of exquisite intelligence, and he has done more 
practical good in China than probably any other missionary 
in the country. He is a power in himself. To him the Chi- 
nese owe the translation and publication in their own 
tongue of our greatest literary, religious, and scientific 
works, which have been faithfully rendered, and are now 
studied by hundreds of thousands of Chinese. It is extraor- 
dinary how the younger Chinese have taken to reading 
these publications, all leading to the moral and intellectual 
improvement of the race; and, indirectly, it has been this 
great desire among the younger generations to know more, 
to know all that " foreign devils " know, which has alarmed 
and aroused the Buddhist Lamas, who exist only through 
the degradation and ignorance of the country. It is the 
fear that these books, eagerly bought and circulated among 
the Chinese, should gradually open the eyes of the better 
classes to the trickery, bigotry, and corruption of the 
bonzes, that has driven these to make one supreme effort 
to drag the whole Empire back into its former state of her- 
mit seclusion, in order that they themselves might once 
more prosper, like parasites thriving on helpless victims. 


It is men like Richards who are needed in China — men 
who have the courage of their opinions, men who can speak 
and write Chinese as well as their own tongue, and have 
brains and tact enough to discuss and forcibly argue on any 
subject with the natives — who, it must be remembered, can, 
when it comes to arguing with real sound sense, give points 
to most Europeans. 

It is by impressing them with his theories — not by asking 
them to accept them — that Richards gains his power over 
the Chinese; he shows them what is good in our civilisation, 
where we are more advanced than they, with their long- 
established but obsolete culture; and he proves to them that 
he is right, not by aggressive methods, too often used by 
missionaries, or by demanding that his statements must be 
taken for granted, but by bringing forward parallels and 
examples that they cannot refute. 

But Timothy Richards is a highly-cultured man; he is a 
man of the world, and, above all, he is humane. There are 
indeed few, if any, missionaries like him. 

In these moments of distress the treaty ports were swarm- 
ing with missionary refugees. Take Shanghai, for instance. 
It almost made one's heart bleed to see the number of over- 
grown, round-backed, anaemic, long-toothed, weak-chinned 
men and women masquerading in Chinese clothes up and 
down the Bund, with swarms of children round them, in 
perambulators, on bicycles, on wheeled horses, or carried 
in arms — usually by a meek-looking male parent. The ma- 
jority of British and American missionaries of the stronger 
sex seem to possess fair or red hair, which they match more 
or less accurately by a long, fat pigtail of a bright golden 
or glowing auburn tinge, according to circumstances, 
which hangs (from a seam in the cap, instead of from the 


scalp, as it should do according to the laws of nature) down 
the back to the heels over their silk disguise. This fancy- 
dress costume is now very largely adopted by British and 
American missionaries, for we are told that, in assimilating 
themselves to the natives (to whom nothing could be more 
unlike), the missionaries gain much influence over the lat- 
ter. Personally, I have noticed only undisguised merri- 
ment among the Chinese as the disguised foreigners went 

The missionary women in Chinese clothes, fortunately, 
look less ridiculous than their men, probably because they 
are generally smaller; yet it seems incomprehensible that, 
in going to a country to convert people, they should them- 
selves adopt customs and costumes which in others they 
condemn as barbarous. 


A more important error — A painful sight — Chinese clothes 
without the appropriate etiquette — The historical Japanese 
lady and her misfortunes — The question of general capacity — 
Christian work in the East — The crime of sending unprotected 
young women into the interior — Money wasted. 

The matter of clothes, however, would be a small one. It 
is to a further and more important error that I wish to re- 
fer. This is a criminal error, made, not only by mission- 
aries, but by those good people at home who employ them 
and send them out. I mean the criminal error of despatch- 
ing to dangerous and lonely places in the interior of China, 
without protection or assistance, young, inexperienced 
girls, who have a most imperfect knowledge of the country, 
the language, and the customs and manners of the natives. 

It has so far been the impression among supporters of 
missions in the East that, to spread the gospel — and with 
it civilisation — among the heathen, anybody is good 
enough. Thereupon, and presumably infatuated by the 
good they imagine they can accomplish, and partly attract- 
ed by the apparently handsome salary offered, a great num- 
ber of unattractive young women with suburban ideas and 
education have found their way to the remotest corners of 
China. There, while faithfully preserving their character- 



istic Anglo-Saxon stride and stiffness of body, they parade 
about in ungracefully-worn Chinese robes, quite as inap- 
propriate and unbecoming to them as European clothes to 
Chinese or Japanese women. One would suppose it ob- 
vious that one should never begin serious work by turning 
the laugh on oneself, and it is with sorrow, even with pain. 


that one sees these poor girls of one's own nationality driven 
to make themselves ridiculous. Not only are they made 
ridiculous, they are also looked down upon by the natives, 
for, with Chinese clothes, Chinese etiquette needs to be 
adopted to cover endless misunderstandings and avoid in- 
sult; for as we ourselves wear clothes appropriate to various 
seasons and to special occasions, and as we wear our gar- 
ments in certain recognised ways only — not the wrong way 
up or inside out — so do the Chinese, and the breach of these 
complicated rules, very difficult to master in their infinitesi- 


mal details, invariably leads to unpleasantness, offence and 
contempt — just the three things, one would suppose, that 
missionaries ought to avoid in trying to earn the respect of 
the natives. 

Much innocent fun has been made in the East over the 
historical Japanese lady who, meaning to be like a Euro- 
pean dame, ordered a complete outfit in Paris, instructing 
the dressmaker to pack the various garments in the order 
in which they were to be worn. The case arrived in Tokyo 
just as the lady was to go to some grand function. The 
case was hurriedly opened — unluckily, at the wrong end — 
and the lady consequently appeared at the function wearing 
her chemise, like a mantilla, on the top of everything else, 
and causing no small commotion among the European 

Well, we laugh at this unfortunate lady, and, in fact, at 
all Japanese or other natives who have adopted our clothes, 
which they seldom know how to wear properly; but our 
missionaries do exactly the same thing in China, and are 
looked upon with the same scorn by the natives there. 

The question of general capacity is even more important. 
A brain sufficient for the reading of family prayers and the 
organisation of village charity bazaars, an intelligence not 
extending beyond the collection of unshapely woollen 
socks and Tam-o'-Shanter caps, whenever a calamity, no 
matter of what kind, afflicts the nation, may be an invalu- 
able acquisition in local society, where socks and Tam-o'- 
Shanters and bazaars and prayers have a recognised place. 
It is a different matter when this poor brain is sent out to 
distant lands to preach, instruct, improve, and civilise, to 
carry a great religion to men frequently of superior social 
standing, men who understand Nature, know how to rea- 


son, and can read us as we could an open book. It makes 
all the difference whether we are swimming in a rapid 
stream with the current or against it. Any weak person 
can travel speedily in the first instance, whereas in the sec- 
ond it takes a powerful swimmer to make any progress at 

The same with Christian work in the East. It is great 
men and women with powerful brains — the greatest we 
have, if any at all — that ought to be sent out, not those 
for whom we can find no use at home. One or two highly- 
refined and intelligent men will do more good than twenty 
incompetent ones. 

As for women, the wives of missionaries might be allowed 
to accompany their husbands, but I maintain that it is crim- 
inal to send young women into the interior, where they can 
do little good, and are absolutely helpless in case of danger. 
There can be no doubt that there has been danger, and for 
many years to come there will be, far inland from the coast. 
In the neighbourhood of foreign treaty ports the question 
is less important; some kind of pastime must presumably 
be provided for ladies bent on Christianising, and here pro- 
tection can always be afiforded them. 

Shocking outrages, such as have occurred in the Boxer 
trouble, w^ould be prevented or greatly minimised; huge 
sums of money, now absolutely wasted, could be spared to 
do good at home, where it is more needed than in China, 
and much unnecessary friction could be prevented, making 
the relations of heathens and foreign devils infinitely 


Protestant missionaries massacred — The missionaries at Pao- 
ting-fu — In the Governor's Yamen — The Governor's considera- 
tion — Anti-foreign Yu-Hsien — An attack on the Roman Cath- 
olic and the American Presbyterian Missions — Sacrificed on 
the grave of a Boxer leader — Before her mother's eyes — An 
offering to the Red-faced God of War — Women Boxers — Re- 
ward for their services — The China inland missionaries — A ter- 
rible end — Words and facts — American citizens — A general 
massacre — " New hands " — Pao-ting-fu the centre of the Boxer 

It would not be fair to speak so plainly as I have spoken 
if one had not before one's eyes such horrible examples of 
what has been endured by some of these unfortunate creat- 
ures directly previous to and during the war of 1900. Be- 
sides information which I have myself collected, I was fur- 
nished by the China Association with a list of the Protestant 
missionaries known to have been massacred from the be- 
ginning of the Boxer movement to the nth of September, 
and a list of those (up to September 26) unaccounted for, 
as well as of those who were then supposed to be on their 
way to the coast from the western provinces. 

The greatest care was taken in compiling this list, which 
was verified in every possible way (by the compiler), both 
by correspondence and interviews with those escaped from 


the interior, as well as by information supplied from the 
heads of the large missionary societies. 

From letters written as late as June 20, it was understood 
that the missionaries at Pao-ting-fu had assembled in the 
Yamen of the Governor, and that they expected to receive 
protection. They had faith in the willingness and ability 
of that high official, and did not deem themselves in danger. 
Within five days of that date, however, when the Boxers 
and Imperial army had openly joined against foreigners, 
the Governor or- 
dered the mission- 
aries out of the 
Yamen. They did 
not go, it is be- 
lieved, without pro- v 
test, for they knew _ 
that, once out of 
the Yamen gate, all 
would be over with 

them. They were forced to return to their homes, where 
they were attacked by the mob, and most of them were 
cruelly massacred, undoubtedly by order of the high offi- 
cial, whose duty, under the treaties, it was to protect them, 
and who, indeed, showed some consideration in not wish- 
ing to have them butchered in the Yamen. 

Matters were different in the case of the bitterly anti- 
foreign Yu-Hsien, the Governor of the adjoining province 
of Shansi, whose name has often appeared in preceding 
chapters, in the correspondence of the British Minister in 

On June 30 the Boxers attacked the Roman Catholic and 
the American Presbyterian missions, destroying the prem- 



ises of both missions by fire. It is not clearly known how 
many Catholic missionaries were slaughtered, but of the 
Americans, Mr. and Mrs. Simcox and three children, Dr. 
and Mrs. Hodges, and Dr. Taylor, were brutally murdered. 
All the native Christians that fell into the hands of the mob 
shared the same fate. Mr. and Mrs. Simcox bravely de- 
fended themselves and their children until they were over- 
powered. They were then bound and dragged three miles 
away to the grave of a Boxer leader, where they were sac- 
rificed. One of the ladies had been so injured that she 
could not walk. They carried her. When the ghastly 
preparations were made for putting them to death, one lady 
made a most touching appeal to the brutes round her to 
spare the life of her child, and with sobs and tears implored 
them to take her life willingly in exchange, but to save her 
little one. But neither tears, nor sobs, nor prayers moved 
these rufiians to compassion — on the contrary. Cowardice 
and cruelty are always found together. The poor innocent 
little mite was seized and cut down before her mother's 

Dr. Taylor, who had been of much assistance to natives 
of all creeds in the neighbourhood, attended faithfully and 
steadily to the patients in his infirmary until the very last 
moment, when the mob seized him, dragged him out, and 
beheaded him. Being well known for the wonderful cures 
he had made, his head was placed as a sacrifice before the 
red-faced God of War (the Boxer god) in the Buddhist 

Similar occurrences were not uncommon during the 
Boxer trouble. In fact, in the Viceroy's Yamen in Tientsin 
we have seen how receipts were found for money paid to 
women for placing the heads of foreigners before the idols 


in the temples. These women had formed themselves into 
a properly constituted and approved society, the object of 
which was to allure and then murder and mutilate foreign- 
ers, and also to mutilate corpses after battles. For this 
revolting service the stipulated reward was thirty Tientsin 
taels, or about four pounds sterling. I have seen with my 
own eyes the receipts for money paid by the Viceroy from 
the Government account, and have already given a transla- 
tion of them in a previous chapter. 

The Catholic and Presbyterian missions wrecked, and the 
missionaries nearly exterminated, there yet remained a few 
" foreign devils " to be slain, but a heavy rain put a tem- 
porary stop to the work of the slayers. 

The next morning (July i) Mr. Bagnall, of the China 
Inland Mission, was assassinated in a temple in the town, 
and Mr. Pitkin, who behaved heroically, was shot on the 
terrace in front of the chapel while defending the two ladies 
of the mission. His head was at once severed from his 
body. The fate of Mr. Cooper, of the China Inland Mis- 
sion, is not exactly known, nor have any details transpired 
of the death of Mrs. Bagnall and her child. A terrible end, 

however, awaited the two unfortunate ladies (Miss G 

and Miss M ) of the American Board mission, whom 

Mr. Pitkin had so bravely defended. They were bound and 
dragged to the Boxer headquarters. It is not certain how 
long they remained prisoners nor what they were made to 
endure at the hands of their cowardly persecutors. But 
from the accounts of other ladies who found themselves in 
a similar plight, it is not difficult to imagine what they must 
have been subjected to and suffered at the hands of these 
inhuman devils. 

When returning from China through America in Decem- 
ber, I found that there seemed to be a feeling prevailing in 


the United States Republic that American citizens had, on 
every possible occasion, been spared and respected by the 
Boxers and Chinese officials. Great publicity was given to 
this statement, and credit was taken accordingly for the 
prestige exercised of United States citizenship upon every 
other nation on the face of the globe. 

Those were words. Here are a few facts. 

Of the fifteen people brutally murdered on that particular 
occasion, eleven were American citizens. As we have seen, 
they had been safe in the Yamen of the Governor at Pao- 
ting-fu until the 20th, and had he wished he could have 
prevented their massacre; but the very fact that they were 
driven from his residence to their homes was naturally in- 
terpreted by the mob as a sign that they were left at its 
mercy. The massacre extended over two whole days, but 
no efifort whatever was made by the authorities at any sort 
of repression, nor at saving or protecting those that had 
escaped the first day's slaughter. 

The Boxers, according to a telegram which is said to have 
been sent to his Excellency Sheng of Shanghai, announced 
that the massacre had been carried out by " Boxers — not 
many of them — who were principally new hands." It will 
be remembered that it was in escaping from this town that 
a number of the engineers of the Luhan railway, and their 
wives and children, were attacked by Boxers. Those that 
fell into their hands were murdered, and their bodies hor- 
ribly mutilated. In the case of ladies, the bodies were 
opened from the lower to the upper part of the trunk. 
Whether this was done before or after death is not known. 

Pao-ting-fu and the vicinity have, through the whole 
trouble, been the centre of the Boxer movement, and, ex- 
cept for the murder of Mr. Brooks in Shantung, it was in 
this province that the first outrage occurred. 










Mr. McConnell's party— The Governor of Che-Kiang— A 
friendly magistrate — The cruelty of a Taotai — Tragic end of 
two ladies — The staff of the American Board Mission at Tai-ku 
and Fen-Chow-fu assassinated. 

Very few particulars of the massacre of Mr. McConnell's 
party have been allowed to reach the public, but it is proved 
that, in this case too, the men and children were killed first; 
married women came after, and lastly, young ladies, who 
were kept back in carts, and executed some time later. 

Two men, six women, and three children, belonging to 
the China Inland Mission at H'u Cheo, in the province of 
Che-Kiang, were killed. Two of the ladies, Miss Drum- 
mond and Miss Manchester, were American citizens. 

The Governor of Che-Kiang was bitterly anti-foreign. 
When he received the Empress-Dowager's edict of June 20, 
ordering the extermination of all foreigners in China, he 
lost no time in promulgating it over his province. H'u 
Cheo is in the extreme south of the province, near the Fuk- 
kien border. 

When the foreign Consuls in Shanghai entered, on behalf 
of their respective Governments, into an agreement with 
the southern Viceroys and Governors to maintain law and 
order in the central and southern provinces and to confine 



war to the northern part of China, the Governor of Che- 
Kiang at first refused to join in it. He stated that the Em- 
press's edict had already been published, and that he would 
only obey orders from the Court. Eventually, however, 
hearing that the Boxers were faring unsatisfactorily in the 
north, he was advised by the southern Viceroys to come 


over to their side and disobey Imperial orders, which might 
lead him to disaster. 

The edict was recalled, but it was too late. In H'u Cheo, 
the Chinese magistrate, who was friendly towards foreign- 
ers, especially to Mr. Thompson, paid dearly for the little 
protection he attempted to give them. He, his wife, and 
children were put to death, and even his Yamen was de- 

The Taotai, the highest official in the town, was bitterly 


anti-foreign, so that when orders came from his superior to 
exterminate all " white devils," he asked for nothing better. 
A mob of ruffians was assembled without much difficulty, 
and the helpless missionaries were dragged to the presence 
of the Taotai, who informed the crowd that they could do 
with them what they chose. 

Mr. Thompson died from a spear wound, and his wife 
and children were beheaded. Mr. Ward, his wife, child, 
and two ladies were also killed. 

Tragic beyond words is the end of two ladies belonging 
to Mr. Thompson's station. They were conveyed to a tem- 
ple, where they were kept for two days and two nights, no 
details being known of what occurred during that time. 
They were then killed by having bamboos forced through 
their bodies, the stick in one case coming out at the mouth. 

My informer states that this was related to him as an evi- 
dence of the reluctance of the mob to murder them ! 

A native Christian, escaped from H'u Cheo, reported that 
he had seen the body of a lady missionary lying under a 
heap of dirt in the street. He recognised it by a protruding 
foot with a European shoe on. 

Were one to mention all — each case separately — it would 
make a long list; but it is perhaps well to quote a few more 
examples of martyrs, and show definitely that the massa- 
cres of Europeans were by no means trifling nor unimpor- 
tant, nor due to some personal spite against particular in- 
dividuals. The attacks were directed against everybody 
foreign, regardless of age, sex, and condition. 

At Hsia Yi two single ladies were murdered, and at 
Taiku, in Shansi, three men and three ladies — the entire 
mission staff of the American Board — were assassinated on 
the last day of July. The Rev. J. H. Clapp, Mrs. Clapp, 

Vol.. T.— 17 


Rev. G. L. Williams, Rev. J. W. Davis, Miss R. Bird, and 
Miss M. L. Partridge were among the killed. 

All the members of the American Board Mission at Fen- 
Chow-fu, in Shansi, together with three members of the 
China Inland Mission who were visiting at that station, 
were killed. They had barricaded themselves in the house 
of Mr. Price, where the first riot occurred, but were ap- 
parently unable to hold out. They attempted to escape. 
In a party of three men, four women, and three children, 
they left the city under an escort offered them of Chinese 
soldiers whom they trusted. Once out in the open the sol- 
diers of the guard fired on them, and they were all killed. 

Other missionaries, including several ladies and children 
visiting friends in that same town, shared a similar fate. 
They also belonged to the American Board Mission. 

There can be no doubt that the soldiers of the guard 
acted under direct orders from their officers. 


The escape from Ping-yuo — The Empress-Dowager's edict— A 
stout resistance in the Baptist Mission — Persecution and ex- 
tortion — Mobbed and stripped of everything — Driven before 
a yelling crowd — Led to the execution ground — Interesting 
resemblance — Shocking death — The sad end of two American 
young ladies — Carried before the Temple oracle — A fearful 
ordeal — A wit — Treated as common criminals. 

Perhaps even more harrowing in its details is the account 
of the experiences of Mr. E. J. Cooper's party of mission- 
aries in their attempt to escape from Ping-yuo, in the prov- 
ince of Shansi. There were in the party Mr. and Mrs. A. 
B. Saunders and four children; Mr. A. Jennings and Miss 
Guthrie, residents of Ping-yuo; Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Cooper 

and two children; Miss and Miss ,* from Lu- 

chang; and Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Glover and two children, 
and Miss Gates, from Lu-an. 

On June 25 a friendly magistrate, who had received or- 
ders from the terrible Governor Yu-Hsien to carry out to 
the letter the Empress-Dowager's edict, sent a word of 
warning to the missionaries, advising them to escape at 
once, or it would be too late. They fled towards Tai-yuen- 
fu. When only half-a-dozen miles from this town, they 

* N.B. — These two names are not published, as it was the wish of 
the two ladies before their death that they should not be. 


luckily met a native Christian making his escape towards 
the south. He entreated them not to enter the town, from 
which he warned them they could never come out alive. 

The Inland Mission and the Roman Catholic premises 
had already been destroyed by fire, and the Protestant mis- 
sionaries had taken refuge in the enclosure of the Baptist 
Mission, where they were making a stout resistance against 
a savage mob that was now preparing to set on fire the 
buildings sheltering the defenders. The servants and 
coolies who were with the escaping party of missionaries 
were seized by fear and abandoned them, and nothing re- 
mained for the party but to return whence they had come. 
In their hasty departure they had left unprovided with 
money, and what little they had was extorted from them 
under various pretexts by fierce natives, who followed them 
about like hungry hyaenas, threatening at every moment to 
kill them unless they gave up all they possessed. Even for 
permission to walk along the high road, clothes and some 
valued personal jewellery were demanded of them. Stripped 
of everything, half-naked, worn, hungry, and terrified, this 
party of refugees eventually reached a town called Lu- 
cheng. Here they were received by Mr. Cooper and the 
other missionary-residents, who had so far been undis- 

Only two days elapsed when this town also became too 
dangerous for Europeans. They were obliged to make an 
escape at midnight, with only such clothes and blankets as 
in their hurried start could be collected together. A don- 
key close at hand was loaded with the impedimenta, and 
the party, further increased by the Lu-cheng refugees, has- 
tily steered its way south, meaning to proceed towards the 
distant Hankow, on the Yangtze River. 


Early in the morning, when only thirteen miles off, they 
were mobbed, in going through a large village, by some 200 
roughs, who demanded money. Enough could not be col- 
lected to satisfy them, and the Europeans were attacked, 
and their bedding and clothes scattered about the road and 
torn to pieces. Even the clothes and boots that they wore 
were taken away from them, and men, women, and children 
were left with nothing more than a loin-cloth or a pair of 
native drawers. In this appalling condition the unfortu- 
nates were driven like sheep before a yelling crowd, their 
tender skin and flesh getting scorched in the hot sun. Their 
feet were sore and cut and bleeding, but no mercy could be 
expected from the horde of bloodthirsty rufftans behind, 
who showered all sorts of insults upon them, beat them, 
stoned them, and cursed them. Running on and on along 
miles of road before their pursuers, they passed through 
several villages, and as each mob left them another took 
them in hand. 

A more pitiful spectacle can hardly be imagined than that 
of these frail, half-clothed men and women, bruised and 
wounded, supporting one another on their aching, bleeding 
feet, and dragging along after them the crying, frightened 
children. Food they had none, nor could any be procured, 
for they were hunted from place to place like wild beasts, 
their only support for several days being the muddy water 
of puddles along the road, and the weeds and grass plucked 
by the roadside. 

As if this were not enough, the mob on more than one 
occasion led them to the execution ground, to be found in 
every town. The swords with which they were to be be- 
headed were sharpened before their eyes, and all other prep- 
arations for the decapitation were got ready in their pres- 


ence. The Chinese well know that the mental suffering en- 
dured in witnessing the preparations is infinitely greater 
than the physical pain of the head being severed. Many 
people, indeed, die under the severe shock before the ex- 
ecutioner has time to accomplish his work. Having per- 
sonally undergone a similar experience to that of these 
missionaries, which was, however, carried even further, I 
can well appreciate what these poor creatures must have 
undergone during this terrible ordeal. It may be interest- 
ing to note the remarkable resemblance of their methods 
with those of my captors, the Buddhist Lamas of Tibet.* 

It is said by some that the escort furnished at Haoping 
fled before the arrival of this unfortunate party at Chi-ches- 
fu; others state that the soldiers led in the attack. 

The terrific heat of the sun so blistered Mrs. Cooper's 
breast and shoulders that great ulcers formed, which be- 
came filled wath maggots before death came to her relief. 

Miss and Miss , owing to the wretched condi- 
tion in which they were, could not keep up with the rest, 
and became separated. The mission authorities maintain a 
strict secret as to the exact date when this occurred, but 
according to the account furnished by one of the members 

of the unfortunate party. Miss was in the hands of the 

mob at least seven days for certain, but in her account, 

given before her death. Miss is reported to have said 

that she had been a captive for a fortnight. This would 

agree better with the evidence collected, and Miss , the 

second young lady, must in that case have been a week in 
the hands of the mob. It is stated that Miss was out- 
raged by five men and left for dead, while Miss had 

a stick forced up her body, but survived several days. 
*See " In the Forbidden Land." by A. H. Savage-Landor. 


When dying, the latter made an appeal that her name might 
not be made public in connection with this horrible mal- 
treatment. Both ladies were American. 

These outrages appear to have taken place in the street 
of a village, and a heavy cart was driven backwards and for- 
wards over Miss 's body in order to crush out her life. 

It is evident that both ladies were supposed to be dead, for 
their bodies were plastered over with mud as a sanitary pre- 
caution, and this is generally done over the nude body. 

A mandarin ordered the body of Miss to be burnt, 

but Miss , who still showed signs of life, was carried to 

a great temple inside the Fu city. She regained conscious- 
ness, and after a whole night spent in incantations the head 
priests reported to the city magistrate that the oracle, see- 
ing that the gashes on her skull (the brain was exposed) had 
not proved fatal, had decreed that she was to be spared the 
finishing stroke. This may have also been an expedient to 
cause the unfortunate lady more suffering before her death. 

Of this party three women and three children died. 

After undergoing this fearful ordeal, the survivors event- 
ually reached a city in Honan, and they were immediately 
brought before the magistrate, who was somewhat of a wit 
— though his wit was out of place on this particular occa- 
sion — and who certainly did not relieve their anxiety by his 
frank declaration that he was extremely sorry they had not 
arrived the day before, when he wotild have had the pleas- 
ure of killing them all. He regretted to say that a further 
Imperial edict had just come, in which former orders were 
countermanded, and the Empress-Dowager had now de- 
cided to spare the lives of foreigners. Sad as it seemed, he 
must obey. 

By order of the Governor of Honan, a brother of the 


Governor of Chili, the wretched refugees were treated (as 
was the case with other parties that passed through the 
province) as low criminals. They were lodged in the com- 
mon jail, and fed on prison food. 

The Governor was evidently determined to humiliate 
these white people to the last degree, and to show the ig- 
norant masses that he had power of life and death over 
them. He impressed upon the crowd the idea that foreign- 
ers were nothing better than criminals, whom he would 
treat as such. 


The evil deeds of Yu-Hsien — Exceptional atrocity — The first 
riot — Driven to the Yamen — Slaughtered in the Governor's 
presence — Adding insult to injury — A general massacre of 
foreigners and converts — £5,000 reward offered for Mr. and 
Mrs. Piggott's release — A mistake. 

We now come to some of the evil deeds of Yu-Hsien, the 
Governor of Shansi, who was probably the most bitter of 
anti-foreign Chinese officials, and who, on receipt of the 
Imperial edict, made haste to carry out the instructions for 
the extermination of foreigners. He telegraphed the Em- 
press's orders to all the subordinates in his province, and 
sent instructions to guard the fords of the Yellow River 
night and day in order that none might escape, so great 
was his eagerness that every foreigner within his boundary 
should be massacred. 

It is not, therefore, a marvel that the murders of mission- 
aries at Tai-yuen-fu, this official's capital in Shansi, took 
place under circumstances of exceptional atrocity. 

The first riot occurred on June 27, when Miss Coombs 
was killed and Dr. Edwards' hospital destroyed. A mes- 
senger brought this information in a letter written by Dr. 
Miller Wilson, and sewn into the sole of one of the mes- 
senger's shoes. 

On July 9 the Governor, Yu-Hsien, having taken the 


precaution to have the gates of the city closed and care- 
fully watched, commanded all the foreigners in the city to 
appear before him, sending armed soldiers to enforce his 

The Europeans, driven to the Yamen, were received in 
audience by Yu-Hsien, who had by his side the Prefect and 
Sub-Prefect of the province, while a number of servants, 
five hundred soldiers, and a crowd of murderous individu- 
als, surrounded the foreigners. 

When all had been brought up, Yu-Hsien enjoined the 
Europeans to prostrate themselves at his feet, accusing 
them of bringing vice, evil, and unhappiness in the Empire 
of Heaven. There was only one remedy for such evil, and 
that was to behead them all. The order was to be carried 
out in his presence. 

Two Roman Catholic Bishops and three other mission- 
aries were then led out, and were the first to be decapitated 
on the spot. Then one and all — men, women, and children 
— were mercilessly beheaded in the courtyard of the Yamen, 
in front of the hall in which they had been received in audi- 
ence, and well in sight of the bloodthirsty ofificial. The two 
children of the American, Atwater, whose parents we have 
followed in their disastrous journey to Honan, were among 
the victims of this tragedy. According to the statements 
of soldiers who were present, but who deserted later, these 
martyrs, went to death with astounding courage. To sat- 
isfy their superstitious curiosity, the soldiers are said to 
have pounced on some of the bodies, still throbbing, of 
these unfortunates, and cut their hearts out for inspection 
by the bonzes and other learned men. 

Insult — no greater could be given in China — was added 
to injury by taking the bodies outside the city walls and 


leaving them to the dogs instead of burying them. Great 
credit should be given to the local native Christians, who, 
with admirable pluck and faithfulness, to say nothing of the 
danger to themselves, surreptitiously secured the bodies by 
night and buried them. Partly on account of this chari- 
table deed two hundred native Christians were put to death 
five days later (July 14). 

In despatches sent by the local of^cials to various Yamens 
it is stated that 37 foreigners and 30 native converts were 
massacred on July 9; but it is not known for certain whether 
that figure includes children, or only adults, A report from 
a city in the neighbourhood of Tai-yuen-fu places the num- 
ber at 550, quite a number of Yu-Hsien's officers being so 
horrified at the Governor's orders that they sent the foreign- 
ers under their charge to him, that he might carry out his 
vengeance personally. 

In the long list of martyrs, Mr. and Mrs. Piggott were 
presumed to have been murdered at Sheo-yang in July. 
Their friends in England offered a reward of £5,000 sterling 
for their lives, but although everything possible that might 
lead to their rescue was done they had not, when I left 
China, been heard of. The news from Sheo-yang did not 
mention their names, but merely announced that two 
foreigners had been killed. As they were probably the only 
foreigners in the station, the gravest fears were entertained. 

In connection with the large reward offered for Mr. and 
Mrs. Piggott, it was reported that Mr. and Mrs. Duncan 
Hay were being held for ransom by the Boxers. It was 
believed that the Boxers, hearing of the large sum of money 
offered for Mr. and Mrs. Piggott, had mistaken the Duncan 
Hay couple for them. A most unpleasant error. How 
otherwise can the fact be explained that the three compan- 


ions who were in hiding with Mr. and Mrs. Hay (Mr. 
M'Kie, Miss Chapman, and Miss May) were released, and 
were reported, towards the beginning of October, as being 
en route for the coast? * 

* They reached Hankow on February 13, 1901. 


Massacred Protestant missionaries — Boxer consideration — The 
warlike qualities of Roman Catholics — Martyrs — Barricaded at 
Ch'ing-Ting-fu — A gallant defence — Catholics and their con- 

The number of Protestant missionaries massacred by the 
Chinese in the three months following Mr. Brooks's murder 
is put down at 93, or 28 men, 40 women (20 married and 20 
single), and 25 children. 

Twenty-eight of these were Americans — 9 men, 13 
M^omen (5 married and 8 single), and 6 children. 

As many as 125 people (56 men, 50 women, and 19 chil- 
dren), of whom 54 were American, were still in the interior 
at the beginning of October, beside 100 more persons in 
the provinces of Shansi and Chili, about whose welfare con- 
siderable anxiety was felt by their friends. None of these 
people had been heard from (on September 29) since June 
13, that is since before the massacres had taken place in 
Tai-yuen-fu, the capital of the province. 

There are instances in which the Boxers, either through 
fear or because they were held in check by influential peo- 
ple, behaved with less cruelty, and even with consideration 
and kindness, but these cases were few and far apart. 

A Mr. and Mrs. Greene, two children, and Miss Gugg 
were known to be in the hands of the Boxers at Hsin-an- 


Hsien, a town eighty miles from Tientsin. After the relief 
of Pekin an intimation was at once sent to the officials that, 
should the lives of these captives be spared, the city would 
escape destruction at the hands of the punitive expedition, 
while in the contrary case no quarter would be given to the 
inhabitants, and their houses would be destroyed wuthout 
mercy. It was pleasant to hear that the Europeans were 
still alive on September i, and that the merchants and lead- 
ing people in the town had joined in supplying the captives 
with food and clothes, although they were held prisoners 
and closely watched by armed Boxers, inside a temple, pre- 
sumably Buddhist. 

The Roman Catholics all over China seem to have dis- 
played warlike qualities quite unexpected in people so re- 
ligious. As they took up arms solely in self-defence and 
for their own preservation, the circumstance is much to 
their credit. It may be that, being more conversant than 
the English and American Protestant missionaries with the 
Chinese language, and being more thrown together with 
the natives of all classes of society, no matter of what creed, 
the Catholics knew better what was coming and how they 
would fare in the hands of the Boxers, soldiers, or officials. 
Therefore, in many cases, instead of trusting blindly to the 
protection of treacherous officials or soldiers, they pre- 
ferred from the beginning to make a brave stand for their 
lives. To those who know the contemptible cowardice of 
the Chinese and kindred races, it seems possible that many 
lives might have been saved had the missionaries in every 
station all joined in a determined fight to keep Boxers and 
soldiers at bay, as was successfully done in the remarkable 
defence of the Legations and Pe-tang mission in Pekin. 

It is, however, not fair to express an opinion; even a com- 


parison is hardly just, since it is possible that the Protestant 
missionaries had no arms or ammunition with which to 
make a stand, in which case the chances of success of such 
a defence would be but very small. 

Missionaries ought to be law-abiding- people, and un- 
doubtedly those who were victims believed they were act- 
ing rightly in obeying the hypocritical orders of the various 
bloodthirsty Governors and magistrates who led them into 
death-traps. No blame, therefore, can attach to those poor 
martyrs — for there is no other name for them — who were 
killed. Considered as peaceful and law-abiding citizens, 
the missionaries could not have acted better, or in a more 
conciliatory manner. All the heavier should be the pun- 
ishment inflicted on the Chinese authorities for their bar- 
barous and infamous behaviour towards men, women, and 
children of our race. 

At Ch'ing-Ting-fu, for instance, all the missionaries — 
some twenty, all counted — barricaded themselves in the 
Roman Catholic church, where they made a most gallant 
defence against the besieging Boxers. They had kept the 
Boxers and soldiers at bay, but, when last heard of, were 
running short of food and ammunition, and were begging 
urgently for relief. Mr. and Mrs. Griffith and Mr. Brown, 
of the China Inland Mission, were among the besieged. 
The rest were all Catholics. 

Considerable anxiety was felt regarding some twenty-five 
missionaries, travelling in various directions from Kansul, 
Yumsan and Kweicheo to places deemed safe; but, al- 
though long overdue, it was hoped that all three parties 
might eventually reach some foreign settlement in safety. 

My informant had not the same facilities for getting in- 
formation about the Catholics, but thirty-five of their mis- 


sionaries had certainly been reported massacred, of whom 
five were bishops, twenty-eight priests, and two Sisters of 
Charity. Twenty more were massacred in Shen-si, and 
Shan-si alone, the hotbed of Boxerdom. Painful beyond 
words was the news that practically all their converts, the 
result of the patient work of centuries, and of untold hard- 
ships and privations, had been murdered. No less than 
fifteen to twenty thousand native Catholics had been mas- 
sacred, and whole villages and small towns of Christians 
exterminated by the Boxers, in the northern provinces and 
in Manchuria, where Roman Catholicism had made great 
strides. ' 






Thousands killed — Mr. Gammon's staff of colporteurs — The 
American Bible store in Pekin and the Emperor — Chinese 
translations of religious and scientific books — Prosperous days 
of the reform party — Demand for foreign books — Mr. Gam- 
mon's ability — An historical wife. 

It has not yet been ascertained how many native Protestant 
Christians and converts were killed during the Boxer move- 
ment, but although not quite so numerous as the Roman 
Catholics, there is no 
doubt that thousands were 

Take, for instance, Mr. 
Gammon's staff of sixteen 
colporteurs of the Amer- 
ican Bible Society store 
in Pekin, some of whom 
are represented in front 
of their premises in the 
illustration. Fourteen of 
them were killed. The keeper of the store escaped by taking 
timely refuge in the Legations. 

Mr. Gammon's store was probably one of the first places 
to be attacked by the mob in Pekin, as it \V^s widely known 
and had quite an historical interest. It was from this shop 
that in 1898, during the period of reform, the Emperor 

Vol. I.— 18 



ordered 140 scientific and religious books, of which 129 
were supplied to him, including 89 published in Chinese by 
the " Society for the Diffusion of Christian and General 
Knowledge among the Chinese." Prominent among the 
translators of these books into Chinese are Timothy Rich- 
ards, Drs. Williamson, Muirhead, and Faber, and Messrs. 
Moody and Young Allen. These volumes dealt principally 
with Christianity. The other forty were scientific books. 

The Imperial order was sent direct from the Palace, and 
great impatience was shown even at the short delay required 
to send the volumes from Shanghai. A eunuch was sent 
to enquire every day when the books would arrive, as the 
Emperor was very anxious to read them, and on reaching 
Pekin the books were taken immediately to the Palace by a 
number of eunuchs despatched to the store for the purpose. 
The Emperor, curiously enough, ordered of the store a 
classical and a mandarin Bible, and he is said to have studied 
these books with great interest and care, expressing admira- 
tion for the Christian religion. 

There is no doubt that, about that epoch, the Emperor 
assumed a favourable attitude towards Christians and their 
civilisation, and the reform party then saw its most pros- 
perous days. 

There was a great demand for foreign books at that time, 
and Mr. Gammon himself told me that, in the four northern 
provinces alone, he and his colporteurs had been selling 
an average of 47,000 books a year. The influence of the 
reform party was swiftly spreading, owing to the Emperor's 
attitude, and with it Christianity itself; for although not all 
reformers were Christians, all Christians belonged to the 
reform party. 

Mr. Gammon, himself a gentleman of considerable ability 



and enterprise, has been of no mean assistance to the society 
in the furtherance of their civilising work. He was a good 
Chinese scholar, and was for three years instructor and 
drill-master in the Imperial University in Tientsin. His 
work as superintendent of colporteurs for Northern China 



kept him constantly travelling all over the provinces in 
which the Boxer disturbances occurred, and he was among 
the first to call attention in the American Press to the 
rapidly-growing importance of the Boxer movement. Hav- 
ing returned late in May from a long journey beyond the 
Great Wall, he called the attention of the United States 
Minister to the grave state of affairs prevailing in the region 
he had visited, and to the insulting and threatening attitude 
of the natives everywhere towards foreigners and native 
Christians. It is reported — not by Mr. Gammon, but from 
other sources — that this information, as well as much more. 


was received with patronising hilarity, because it had not 
been collected by employees of the Legation. 

The grim illustration shows the heads of two Boxers be- 
headed at the West Gate in Tientsin. To the right stands 
a noted Boxer leader whom Mr. Gammon assisted in capt- 
uring and photographing. He was known to have mur- 
dered thirty-two people. Some information was needed 
from him regarding one of the beheaded, and he was led to 
the execution ground. He was quite calm and composed 
until he recognised that one of the heads swinging to the 
left pole was that of his brother. Seized with horror, he 
trembled and shook, and cried with pain and fear, but a 
few moments later regained absolute control over himself 
and said he was now ready to have his own head cut off. It 

It is due to Mr. Gammon to mention that, during the 
Tientsin siege, he, with fifty native Christians, served with 
one of the British 12-pounder guns. Moreover, Mr. Gam- 
mon, besides the historical Bible store, possesses an " his- 
torical " wife, not that his delightful life-partner is old — on 
the contrary — but that she was fortunate enough to have 
escaped, when a child, from the massacre of Tientsin in 
1870, and has now escaped from the bombardment of the 
settlement in 1900. 


A journey in the interior — Trappists and Buddhists — Prepara- 
tions — Money — Men and baggage — The start — A quaint village 
— A wayside inn — A Christian cook — Interesting Mahommedan 
inscriptions — An open-air theatre — Steep incline — Miao-fung- 
shan mountains — A Christian village — A slippery road — Per- 
sonal interest — When to marry. 

As reference will be made later to the Trappist monastery 
in China, and the sad news was circulating that the " silent 
monks," with their proselytes, had all been cruelly massacred 
by the Boxers, and their premises destroyed, it will not be 
out of place to reproduce from my diary an account of a 
journey which I took in 1891 from Pekin to the interior, 
visiting the quaint monastery of La Trappe en route, where 
I was the guest of the monks for several days, 

A comparison between these Trappists and the Buddhist 
priests, with whom I also had dealings further inland during 
the same journey, is left to the reader, and may serve further 
to corroborate certain statements which I have elsewhere 
made regarding the depravity of the clean-shaven preachers 
of Buddha. Even in those days the hatred of the bonzes 
towards foreigners was apparent, and their unscrupulous 
conduct hardly less offensive than it is to-day. 

I had been in Pekin some time making preparations for a 
journey to the sacred mountain of Siao-ou-tai-shan. and on 


this particular occasion these preparations were more elabo- 
rate than usual, for the double reason that I was to be ac- 
companied the greater part of the way by two French gen- 
tlemen, and that I had not yet quite recovered from the 
rough journey and accidents which had befallen me in the 
country of the hairy aborigines of the Hokkaido Islands. In 
those days, more than now, one of the principal difficulties 
when travelHng in the interior of China was the conveyance 
of one's money. One had to carry it in lumps of silver to be 
broken up and properly weighed for the larger payments — a 
matter of endless argument and quarrel between buyer and 
seller — or else one had to be burdened with an appalling 
weight of " cash," the small coin known to everybody. It 
is made of an alloy of copper and tin, and, roughly, there 
are no less than from one thousand to two thousand pieces 
to the English half-crown. The coins are perforated in the 
centre and carried about strung together with cords of 
plaited straw. 

Men and baggage were to be carried on mules' backs, as 
most of the journey was to be through the mountainous dis- 
tricts of the Petchili and Shansi provinces, but two donkeys 
were also taken to carry lighter packages and cooking uten- 
sils. Two native muleteers were in charge of the convoy. 

On May 19 a start was made at six o'clock in the morn- 
ing, moving almost due west. Having left dusty Pekin, 
with its high wall and towers, behind us, we rode gai4y 
through the crowd of carts, beggars, pedlars, horsemen, and 
bashful women escaping, and children frightened at the sight 
of " foreign devils." After winding our way through the 
squalid habitations of the suburbs, our mules sinking knee- 
deep alternately in mud or dust, stared at and remarked 
upon by everybody, our baggage criticised, and all sorts 


of inquisitive questions upon its contents put to my at- 
tendants, we eventually came into the open country. The 
signs of careful cultivation nearer the town gradually faded 
away, and after some miles we travelled mostly over barren 
stretches of flat land. 

We rode through quaint Pali-chuan, a little village en- 
circled by a high wall, and possessing a handsome temple to 
Tapeitzu, on the right as one enters the gate. The arrival 
of foreigners created an excitement in the normally tomb- 
like quiet of the main street, and the natives rushed to the 
doors and windows to have a peep at the strangers. A re- 
markable ancient tower of great interest, staring us in the 
face, was a marvellous bit of mason's workmanship, and so 
was the west gate, which we passed on going out of the vil- 

For the first six hours we had marched on level ground, 
but now on reaching Yantia-chuan the ground became un- 
dulating, particularly towards the south. At noon we halted 
at a small, dirty wayside inn (there are no clean inns in 
China), and as my French companions did not seem anxious 
to try a Chinese meal, we entrusted the preparation of a 
frugal repast in foreign fashion to one of the muleteers, who, 
by the way, professed to be not only a good Christian, but 
an excellent cook as well. Fresh meat of dubious origin was 
purchased at the Frenchmen's request, and the Christian's 
cooking abilities were put to a test. He turned out quite a 
good meal, with the exception that he fried things in vase- 
line instead of butter, and used Eno's Fruit Salt when he 
should have used common salt, which two fatal mistakes 
nearly led him to a premature death at the hands of my two 
companions from across the Channel. 

" Comment! " shrieked one of the Frenchmen as he shook 


him by the pigtail. " Tu es tin cuisinier Chretien, et tu ne sais 
pas distingiier la vaseline du heurre. Mais tu fen blagues bien, 
toi, de la Chretiennete! " 

After lunch, and none the worse for what might have 
turned out a disastrous meal, we set out again. We soon 
came to the first hills and terraces. On a mound stood the 
pretty little temple of Che-ching-shan. Further on, along 
the Hunho river, more generally called Yung-ting-ho, we 
found some interesting Mahommedan inscriptions engraved 
on stone. We rose higher and higher as we proceeded 
towards the village of Men-ton-ko, where, on the bank of 
the river, a fascinating little open-air theatre had been 
erected, an ideal spot for playgoers, for, if bored by the per- 
formance on the stage, there still remained a fine panorama 
of picturesque scenery all round, which was always pleasant 
to gaze upon. 

The incline was getting steeper and steeper; we passed a 
number of small villages on the banks of the stream, and 
here and there, at long intervals, ancient bridges of solid 
masonry spanned the river. Then the road became tortuous, 
and wound its way up the hillside like an uncoiling serpent. 
Our animals being very tired, we dismounted and walked up, 
dragging them after us, until we reached the pass, where we 
obtained a magnificent view of the underlying country. To 
the south the chain of the Miao-fung-shan mountains stood 
resplendent in all its beauty, with its peaks caressed by the 
last warm rays of the dying sun; and, in the far distance, 
towards the south-west, the blue Pohowashan made a lovely 
background to that beautiful picture of mountain scenery. 

Nearly at eight in the evening we arrived at Lieun Shuan, 
where the French Roman Catholic missionaries had estab- 
lished a small apothecary's shop for the use of the Catholic 


and other natives in the village. As a privilege, we were 
allowed to sleep in the shop. Near this village, I was told, 
there were valuable coal-beds, but I did not visit them. 

Early the next morning we proceeded down a very slip- 
pery road paved with round pebbles, and had great difficul- 
ty in keeping our mules and ourselves from falling. The 
people we came across were very polite and genial, always 
willing to give friendly advice as to which were the best 
roads to travel by and the best inns to put up at. They in- 
quired most tenderly after all our relations, and seemed to be 
keenly interested in our respective ages, nationality, con- 
dition in life, state of health, and I do not know what else! 

" Your wife," said an old man to me, " must be very sorry 
that you are so far away from her, and going through the 
dangers of travelling in these distant provinces." 

" I have not got a wife," I answered. 

" So young," he exclaimed in great astonishment, " and 
you have not a wife! " 

" No; in my country we do not marry very young; we 
marry when we are older." 

" Oh, that is a mistake," said the old man gravely. " It is 
a great mistake; a man should always marry when he is 
young and strong." 


Tai-han-ling Pass — Two tablets — A clean village — Catholics — 
Lacking repose — A great commotion — Destroyed by the Box- 
ers — A picturesque Buddhist priest — A strange notion — The 
sitter's soul — Obnoxious women — Restitution of the missing 
soul — Infallible remedies and how to administer them. 

As we were thus entertained by native wayfarers and their 
curious theories, we trotted along, went through the Tai- 
han-ling Pass (3,020 feet above sea level), and late in the 
afternoon crossed the summit of the range, where a valuable 
library of sacred books — ancient and buried in dust — lay 
forgotten in a small temple. Two tablets, one to Kanshi, 
the other to Tan Kuang, and a curious small gateway, had 
also been erected on the highest point of the pass. The 
descent on the other side was less interesting, except that 
here and there we had pretty bits of scenery to gaze upon. 

Following the valley, we reached the village of San-lieu, a 
clean little place, 1,000 feet above sea level. The reason the 
village was clean was probably because the inhabitants were 
all Roman Catholics. With the aid and advice of the French 
missionaries in Pekin they had built themselves a handsome 
church, in which they had mass and evening prayers every 
day. Chinese Catholic priests officiated, and even the har- 
monium was played by a Chinaman, who naturally played 
it somewhat a la Chinoise, but still very well considering that 


the instrument and the character of the music were abso- 
lutely foreign to him. 

. In coming in contact with these Christians, although one 
must admire them for what they had done, I could not help 
again remarking that the converts, wherever one found 
them, lacked the repose and the stolid, but at the same time 
gentle, manner of their pigtailed heathen brethren. They 
always struck one as unsteady, morose, and at times even 

They had at first given us the best room in the principal 
house in the village, but — for what reason I was never able 
to discover — during the night there seemed to be a great 
commotion, and we were roughly roused up and bundled 
into a dingy back room, where we had to spend the re- 
mainder of the night. I suspected that possibly the fact that 
I was not a Roman Catholic might have caused them to act 
so uncivilly; but it seemed hard in that case that the two 
Frenchmen, who belonged to their creed, should be so 

On my last visit to Pekin, I was sorry to learn that the 
whole village had been destroyed by the Boxers, and a num- 
ber of the Christians horribly murdered. The church, I was 
told, was in ruins. 

Following the stream, we halted, after another long day's 
journey, at Tu-thia-chuang. 

The inn at this place was somewhat better than the usual 
accommodation one gets in the smaller towns in the in- 
terior of the Celestial Empire — which, indeed, only deserves 
that title to Celestials. Crowds of people assembled when 
we arrived, just before sunset, and among the swarm of 
curious onlookers I perceived the striking head of a pict- 
uresque old Buddhist priest. After a long confabulation 


and a few strings of cash which I deposited in his hands, I 
induced him to sit for his portrait, and dashed ofif a sketch in 
oils before he had time to change his mind. Unfortunately, 
as is always the case on such occasions, failing a proper 
studio, the painting had to be done out in the open, which 
caused a large crowd of loafers to collect round model and 
artist, making a nuisance of themselves to both. The 
women were particularly obnoxious, for they began to scold 
the old priest for his rashness in sitting. There is a strange 
notion prevailing in China, and, in fact, nearly all over the 
continent of Asia, that if an image is reproduced in painting 
or sculpture, a soul (or, to use their words, " life ") has to 
be given to it. The person portrayed has to supply the 
soul by transferring his own into the image — a necessity 
which, to any one who believes in it, must be distinctly un- 
comfortable. But apparently the Buddhist priest, who 
approved these superstitious ideas in others, knew better 
when he himself was concerned. Therefore he sat tight, 
with a sly twinkle in his eye, and the strings of " cash " 
jealously nursed on his lap. 

On my side, I immortalised him with due speed on a 
wooden panel, and he sat right through as motionless as a 
statue, deaf to the warnings of the excited females around. 

When the painting was pronounced finished the trouble 

" You will die! " cried an old harpy to him. " I saw your 
soul come out of you and go into the picture. Indeed, I saw 
it with my own eyes! " 

" So did I! " yelled a hundred other voices in chorus. 

By the time the poor priest had got up they had almost 
convinced him that at least half his soul had really gone out 
of him. He was feeling himself all over, and actually began 


to be conscious — or so he said — that something had gone 
wrong with him. Being a sensible man, however, whether 
his soul had gone or not, he first went home to deposit the 
cash for safe keeping. A complaint for the restitution of 
his missing soul might come after. 

Well suspecting what was coming, I went into my room 
the moment the bonze, followed by the crowd, had departed, 
and packed the sketch safely, then took a second clean panel 
and smeared it with the scrapings of my palette so that I 
might be able to play a trick should the bonze return to 
have the picture destroyed. 

Twenty minutes had hardly elapsed when he was back 
again, of course without the " cash." He held his stomach 
with both hands and complained of internal agony. 

" I am going to die," he cried on getting near; " you have 
taken away half my soul ! " 

" Certainly I have," said I, sternly; " you did not expect 
me to give you all that ' cash ' for less than half your soul, 
did you? " 

" Oh, no," he retorted, meekly; " but I wish it back, as I 
now feel so bad without it." 

" All right," said I, " I shall go into the room to destroy 
the painting; will you then be satisfied? " 

" Yes." 

Here the second panel, smeared with palette scrapings, 
was produced, after I had made pretence of destroying the 
presumed picture on it with a knife. 

The expression of relief on the priest's face was well worth 
seeing. It would be impossible to depict it. He may not 
have felt so clearly that half his soul had passed out of him, 
but there was no doubt that he had plainly felt it coming 
back. He was now perfectly w^ll again. 


This magic cure gave us all a very busy evening. It is 
fatal to the prestige of a foreigner travelling in the interior of 
China not to suggest some infallible remedy or other when 
asked. To pronounce a malady incurable is to bring con- 
tempt on our inferiority to the priesthood of the country, 
who are supposed to cure anything. All the villagers who 
had complaints of any sort came to us to be restored to 
sound health. A leper who had lost all his fingers wished us 
to make them grow again. He was advised to dip them in 
water and salt for fifteen days, when on the morning of the 
sixteenth day he would notice a change. This he took to 
mean that they would begin to grow a second time, while we 
expected that in sixteen days no less a distance than 400 
miles would separate us from that village. A pitiful case of 
a child, only a few months old, was also brought up, whose 
mother, while busy stirring boiling water in a big cauldron, 
had dropped the child in by mistake. He was so badly 
scalded that, although I attempted to relieve his pain by 
smearing him all over with the vaseline that had not been 
used in the cooking, I fear that he cannot have lived more 
than a few hours. 


Magnificent scenery — The Great Wall — The Towers of Tung- 
an-tzu — The Trappist monastery — A secluded valley — Father 
Maurus — Silence — No converts — A vegetable lunch — Simplic- 
ity and happiness — Adopted customs — Accused of concealing 
firearms — Novices and fathers — All thoughts to the Lord — A 
Manchu father. 

We made an early start the next day, and by ten o'clock we 
went through Shan-lung-men. Going through the pass the 
scenery was magnificent. We were following the river bed, 
and had high mountains on both sides. Then we came in 
sight of a portion of the Great Wall. There was a huge 
tower on one side of the river, and a long stretch of wall 
built on the steep slope of the mountain; on the other side 
of the river was the continuation of the wall. 

From this point the incline became very steep, and we 
had some three hours' very stifT climbing to reach the sum- 
mit of the mountain range. We were travelling in a westerly 
direction. The view obtained from the high point reached 
was superb. On one side chain after chain of mountains of 
pure cobalt blue, on the other the high Hsi-ling-shan peak 
and a fertile valley. A long distance away in a southerly 
direction one could just discern against the bright sky-line 
the towers of Tung-an-tzu and another portion of the wall, 
while below, in the fertile valley, signs of agriculture and a 


large enclosure were visible. On the nearest hills, land- 
marks in the shape of large crosses had been put up, to show 
that the ground within the boundary belonged to the Chris- 
tian order of the Trappists. 

The descent from our high point of vantage occupied two 
hours. It was nevertheless quicker work than the ascent, 
and as we drew nearer the walled enclosure we found our- 
selves among well-planned plantations of apricot trees — a 
surprise refreshing to the eye in these almost uninhabited 
and wild regions. 

The valley, in the centre of which the Trappists have 
settled, is divided in two by a limpid stream and surrounded 
on all sides by high mountains. For picturesqueness of 
landscape and fertility of soil, the silent monks could have 
selected no more delightful spot upon which to build their 
abode, and they certainly do not lack seclusion, which is the 
aim of their " existence " (I could not say " life "), and 
which they had no difficulty in finding in these deserted 

The building was simple and solid, and a high encircling 
wall protected the penitent fathers from robber neighbours, 
as well as from the attacks of leopards and tigers, which are 
numerous in the district. 

I went in and was received most kindly by Father Maurus, 
a Frenchman, the only one of them who by the rules of their 
order is permitted to speak. 

" Everything is silence in the convent," he said. " No 
one is allowed to speak but myself." And he certainly spoke 
enough for himself and for all the others. 

He took me round to see the different parts of the con- 
vent, and en route he told me that only four survived of the 
ten or more that had come out from France. The others 


had succumbed to illness and hardships. They had now 
been there ten years, and had only seen three Europeans 
during that time. 

" But who built all these houses, the church, the porti- 
coes, and wall? " I inquired. 

" We did," he replied, " with the help of some Chinese 
and Mongols, several of whom have now joined the order. 
We do not make converts, and only bring ourselves forward 
as an example to others. Chinese are fond of self-inflicted 
penance, and many apply and are willing to join us in our 
great work. They find it difficult at first to keep perfectly 
silent, but they soon get into the habit, and we are very 
much pleased with them. They are good, obedient, and 
willing. We have about forty, though only a few of them 
have been ordained fathers; in due time, however, let us 
hope that they wijl be. At present most are novices and 
boys. Won't you come and eat something, as you must 
be very hungry and tired? We have little to offer you, for 
we are poor and far from civilisation, but will gladly give 
you what we have." 

He gave me a delicious lunch, consisting entirely of veg- 
etables cooked in different ways, and among other things 
he pressed me to drink some white wine of their own make, 
which was rather pleasant to the taste. 

" We are vegetarians," Father Maurus added; " but we 
are allowed to drink wine, and we do so," taking the small 
cup in both hands and then swallowing the contents. " We 
cannot smoke, for that is not a necessity of life. We never 
speak, not even to each other, except in case of serious ill- 
ness, as we wish to give all our thoughts to God. 

" We live simply, and are quite happy. We have given 

up all luxuries of the world, and all our implements are of 
Vol. I.— 19 


the commonest kind. We eat with iron forks and spoons, 
and we have three meals a day, except on fast days, when 
we only have one very light meal. Our lunch is the largest 
meal we have, and consists of a bowl of soup and two small 
dishes of vegetables; at dinner we have less. We rise at 
2 A.M. on week-days, when we hear the sound of the church 
bell. One of the fathers is commissioned to ring this bell, 
and should he be even a few minutes late he has to undergo 
a punishment; if it be not altogether his fault, he has to eat 
his dinner kneeling down; but under other circumstances 
he has to accuse himself before the ' capitole,' and kneel 
outside the dining-room and do without his meals that day. 
However, this happens very seldom, as we all do our best to 
fulfil our duties conscientiously. 

" On Sundays the bell is rung at i a.m., but we generally 
have one hour and a half's rest in the afternoon. 

" We go to rest at 8 p.m., and we sleep with our clothes 
on, as in Easter week and on other holidays, for example, 
we rise many times during the night, go to the chapel to 
say our prayers, and then return to our cells. In winter, 
when the snow is deep, this is not so pleasant as in sum- 
mer, because we have to cross the large yard. We used to 
wear sandals, like the Franciscans, but, owing to the severe 
climate, we have adopted Chinese shoes, which we find an- 
swer our purpose much better. 

" As you see, we also grow a pigtail, like the Chinese, 
though mine has never grown more than a few inches long," 
he said apologetically. 

" But, Father Maurus," I said, " does it not strike you 
that instead of the Chinese following your customs, you fall 
in with those of the Chinese? " 

" Oh ! " he retorted, " we do not make converts. We are 


not missionaries, and if we have adopted some Chinese cus- 
toms it is only because we find that our neighbours respect 
us more." 

" Have you much trouble with your neighbours? " 

" Not now. We had when we first arrived, and even 
three or four years ago. While we were building the wall 
round our garden and houses we were accused of conceal- 
ing guns and other firearms, which, our accusers said, were 
to await the arrival of a large band of ' white devils,' who 
intended conquering a great part of China. The mandarin 
of the province, with many soldiers and followers, unexpect- 
edly arrived, and searched every nook within the walls of 
our monastery, but found nothing. Being thus convinced 
that we had no hostile intentions towards him, nor any of 
his countrymen, and astonished at the kind manner in 
which we received him, he left us, and we have never seen 
him since. 

" // avait I'air d'etre nn ires brave monsieur" added Father 
Maurus. An astonishing fact for a Chinese mandarin. 

" The villagers around us are very good, and most of 
them have become Christians. Hu-tzia-ku, a village only 
a few miles from here, is entirely Roman Catholic, and many 
of the younger folk mean to join us. We take them as boys, 
and after some years they become novices; when well pre- 
pared for the holy life which we strive to lead they are made 
fathers. When, however, this last step is taken there is no 
withdrawing from it, and you are a Trappist till it pleases 
the Lord to call you back to Himself. Novices and boys can 
leave the convent whenever they choose. 

" Our great idea is to give all our thoughts to the Lord. 

- We think of Him when we eat, when we till the ground, 

and when we read. The only books that we read are books 


of prayers. We have to cultivate the ground or else we 
could not live. We grow potatoes principally, and we have 
a plantation of apricot-trees. We have a Manchu cook, a 
father, whom we have trained, and in a few minutes you will 
try his cuisine. He is a clever man, and has learnt Latin 
since he has been with us, while he was a novice." 

While this conversation was going on, a shortish man, 
with oblique eyes, high cheek-bones, and slanting forehead, 
appeared on the scene, carrying a huge bowl of soup in 
one hand and an enormous dish of fried potatoes in the 

" Voild, voire diner, monsieur," said Father Maurus, " and 
the Manchu father will bring you nuts and honey when you 
have eaten this. Here are also several bottles of the wine 
that we make, and let us hope that you will like it. I must 
go now, as it is my prayer time." 


Latin and cookery — Shepherds — The Manchu's new creed and 
cooking utensils — Salad, honey, and jujubes — Wild animals — 
The Trappist and the leopard — A saintly life — Gentle 
Christians — Hostility towards the Trappists — The Chief of the 
village — Suggestive pictures. 

The Manchu father kept silent for some time, and stood 
watching every movement I made. At last he could not 
resist the temptation, and, breaking the vows he had sworn 
to obey, began a Latin conversation with me, the subject 
being the quality, size, and cooking of the fried potatoes, 
and the bad success of the soup, with consequent apologies. 
I tried to console him, and said that I found everything 

It was strange, indeed, to be talking of fried potatoes in 
the Latin language, with a Manchu cook, in a French Trap- 
pist convent in Chinese Mongolia ! 

I must confess, however, that the Manchu was better up 
in Latin than I was. He could talk it as fluently as his own 
language. Only now and then he would put in some Man- 
chu word to fill up gaps. He was an interesting man, and 
very talkative, now that he had once begun. He had been 
wandering, poverty-stricken, all through Manchuria, and, 
coming south, fate had led him to the monastery. He 


begged for shelter, which was immediately accorded him. 
The proceedings of the fathers interested him, and he asked 
to remain with them. For several years he was a novice, 
but such was his goodwill, perseverance, and quiet demean- 
our that he was ordained a father. He enjoyed doing the 
cooking, for, he said, it was not such rough work as culti- 
vating the ground, or looking after goats and cows, of 
which the Trappists have quite a number. 

" There, you see," he said, pointing towards the hill-side, 
" there is one of our shepherds, a novice. You can see him; 
he has a large straw hat on." 

I ventured to ask him whether he liked his new religion 
better than his former one, and he said he did. He was 
unaware before, that by leading a saintly life (I should call 
it a lazy one), man could earn happiness in the life to come. 
He felt a different creature since he had joined the Trap- 
pists, and was happy with his new creed — and cooking 

Like all Eastern people, he possessed a keen sense of 
humour, and his conversation, in Latin and Manchu, was 
getting more and more interesting, when we heard the 
sound of steps. 

" Father Maurus is coming, I must keep silent; please do 
not say that I spoke." And, bowing to Father Maurus as 
he entered, he retired to his kitchen. 

Salad, honey, and dried " jujubes " were then placed on 
the table, and I enjoyed them thoroughly. 

" One of our little dogs is going to die," began Father 
Maurus. " We have two of them, and their mother was 
killed by a leopard a few months ago. We are often 
troubled by wild animals, especially in winter. Panthers, 
leopards and tigers are numerous in the neighbourhood, 


and they often visit us, bearing away with them our goats, 
and even our dogs. One beautiful moonlight night, when 
the ground was still covered with snow, I heard strange 
noises in the garden. The dogs were barking furiously, 
and one of them seemed in great distress, judging from his 
howling. A window of the dormitory overlooks the gar- 
den, and creeping along the wall I went to see what was 
the matter. My hair almost stood on end when, close to 
the window, I saw, not many yards from me, a huge leopard 
eating up one of our dogs. I did not dare to move or call 
for help. I was nearly paralysed with fright. You will 
agree with me," added Father Maurus, " that a few panes 
of glass are not much protection against visitors of that 
kind. As things turned out, and with the help of our 
Lord, the leopard seemed satisfied with his meal, and, after 
having taken a turn round our premises, gracefully jumped 
over the wall and disappeared. So our lives were spared," 
and he made the sign of the cross while saying so. 

The Trappists possessed 800 hectares of ground, which 
they purchased from the Roman Catholic missionaries, who 
induced them to come out from France to serve as an ex- 
ample to intending imitators. Though not making con- 
verts directly, they were the means, as it were, of getting 
natives converted to the faith of Christ, by showing them 
how to lead a saintly life 

They had certainly been successful. They had been 
there at Yan-Kia-Ku more than ten years, and during that 
time all the inhabitants of the neighbouring village of Hu- 
tzia-Ku had accepted the Roman Catholic religion, and 
their children were brought up in that faith. However, 
this village only numbered a1:>out forty houses, and certainly 
not more than one hundred people, so that at its best, when 


one compared these hundred souls to four hundred millions 
(the population of China), most people will agree that the 
success of the Trappists might have been correctly de- 
scribed as a drop of water in a vast ocean. 

I must say in their favour that their followers at Hu-tzia- 
Ku, though not numerous, were certainly the nicest and 
gentlest Chinese converts I have met in my wanderings 
through the Celestial Empire,, and to all appearance they 
seemed to be extremely good Christians. They spoke well 
of their neighbours the Trappists, and in fact worshipped 
them. They all were most honest, straightforward, and 
kind — qualities not universal among converts in China. 

I paid them several visits, and a few presents in the shape 
of needles and cotton-reels were much appreciated by the 
weaker sex, while a few small Japanese silver coins sent the 
men crazy with delight. They did not even object to be 
sketched, which, for a Chinaman, is going a very long way. 

Hu-tzia-Ku was a pretty little village. Its name, trans- 
lated into English, meant the valley of the Hu family. It 
was situated on a high bank on the left side of the river, 
south of the monastery. The other two villages of Shang- 
wan-tzu and Shia-wan-tzu (meaning the upper and lower 
turnings of the river) were at no great distance from it, but 
the villagers had not followed the example of their brothers 
of Hu-tzia-Ku; on the contrary, they had on different occa- 
sions shown themselves decidedly hostile towards them and 
the Trappists. 

At Hu-tzia-Ku I was received into the house of the chief 
of the village, who was the catechist as well, and he showed 
me into a room which had been turned into a chapel. It 
had an altar with a few candles, a crucifix, and on each side 
of that a large coloured chromo-lithograph of French pro- 


duction. The subjects of these works of art were as sug- 
gestive as they were badly executed. In one of them a 
young Chinaman who had not accepted the Christian creed 
was to be seen roasting in the midst of huge flames of bright 
vermilion and chrome yellow. In the other a Chinese 
Christian with a happy countenance was led by an angel 
for a walk on the clouds. A full description both in Chi- 
nese and French was printed on the margin of these chefs 
d'ceuvre, to enlighten persons who might entertain any 
doubt as to what the pictures were meant to represent. A 
few benches and a couple of wooden chairs were the re- 
mainder of the furniture in this humble place of worship. 
All the villagers went to it in the morning and evening to 
say their prayers, and on Sunday one of the Trappist fathers 
came over to celebrate mass. 


The fathers at dinner — The dormitory — Trappists' dress — My 
bedroom — The Great Wall of China — ^Towers — On Trinity day 
— Man and speech — A sad story. 

On returning to the monastery, I found the fathers at din- 
ner. One of them was reading aloud while the others were 
eating, and Father Maurus told me afterwards that that 
was done at all meals; the father reader has his dinner later, 
when the others are at church praying. 

Father Maurus took me to see the dormitory, a long 
rectangular room with small cells on each side, each cell 
being about seven feet long and four wide. A bunk with a 
rough mattress was all the furniture in each cell, and few 
of them had blankets, as the monks usually slept in their 

Near the entrance door a pretty marble shell with holy 
water adorned the wall as a stoup, and at its sides hung a 
clothes-brush and a pair of scissors. 

Fathers and novices dress entirely in white. Father 
Maurus, being the superior, wears a leather belt, which ends 
in several knots, similar in shape to the rope girdles worn 
by monks of the Franciscan and other orders. 

The Trappists are bareheaded, except shepherds, who 
wear hats of enormous size. Each monk is, however, pro- 
vided with a cowl, which is very seldom used. 


I was shown my bedroom — a cell like all the others — 
only in a separate part of the building, not inhabited by the 
Trappists. There was a wooden crucifix at the head of my 
bunk, and a hard mattress, but no pillow; and I searched in 
vain for pegs, which plainly showed me that Trappists are 
more religious than practical, although, on further reflec- 
tion, I may have been unjust in my hasty judgment, since 
they themselves never undress. My paint-box, as usual, 
answered the purpose of a pillow, and altogether I made 
myself fairly comfortable. 

I was up early, having decided to go and see a portion of 
the Great Wall and the famous towers of Tung-an-tzu, not 
many miles off. I passed Hu-tzia-Ku, and the catechist 
insisted on accompanying me. 

Having left my mules at the Tung-an-tzu temple, at the 
foot of the mountain, I proceeded to climb to the summit, 
where the two towers are. 

The Great Wall of China has always been a stumbling- 
block to Europeans. Some imagine that it is an enormous 
structure, thousands of miles long, and wide enough to al- 
low four lines of carriages to drive on the top. Others go 
so far as to assert that it is a myth. There is not only one 
Great Wall of China, but many Great Walls, which in some 
places run parallel to each other. But the Great Wall is not 
continuous, as is very generally supposed; nor is it nearly as 
high, or as wide, as is popularly believed. The only por- 
tion of the wall in Northern China that is continuous for 
several hundred miles is that which runs west from the sea 
(Petchili Gulf) to Kalgan, and this is not as solidly built as 
that portion which runs from Chatao (NNW. of Pekin) in a 
south-westerly direction. 

The wall began from the first tower we reached, and went 



across valleys and mountains; at intervals there were other 
similar towers, with vaulted roofs, which, however, were 
generally tumbling down, the arches having given way 
and the ceiling fallen in. The outside walls were still in 

excellent preservation. In 
all the towers the walls 
were double, and access to 
the upper floor was ob- 
tained by going up a small 
staircase, similar to that of 
a ship, and nearly perpen- 
dicular. The upper part 
of the tower was of bricks, 
but the lower part and the 
foundations were made of 
enormous blocks of gran- 
ite kept well together by 
strong cement. Between 

r» -■ stone and stone one could 
^ 1 see numerous gun bullets 

ijj ^iijb :' jammed in. A tablet, with 
k mIpcsI the number of the tower 

engraved on it, was placed 
over the door, and the 
windows were invariably 
of a semi-circular shape. 
A wall, wide enough for several men to walk abreast, from 
one tower to another, connected all these towers, and the 
height of that portion of the wall at Tung-an-tzu was not 
more than twenty-five feet. According to some Chinese 
authorities, this part of the Great Wall is supposed to be 
much older than that farther north at Chatao. That the 
wall is not continuous can be ascertained here, as no traces 



can be seen of any connection between the tower and wall 
w'hich I saw at Sia-long-men and this part. One explana- 
tion of the problem would be that these fragments of the 
wall have been built at different epochs, to protect valleys 
through which an invading army could pass. The theory 
that the wall was built with the object of keeping wild 
beasts out of the country does not seem a plausible one, as 
nothing could be easier to a tiger or a leopard than to climb 
over it in many places. 

On Trinity day. May 23, I was present at the benediction 
in the chapel of the convent. All the fathers, novices, and 
boys were present, and it was a good opportunity for me 
to see them all together. The church was nicely decorated, 
and there was a grand display of candles. The service was 
short and good, but what impressed me most were the dif- 
ferent expressions on the faces of these men and boys, who 
were to end their days in these wild regions, giving up all 
duties and pleasures of life, forgetting parents and friends, 
and forgotten by everybody; ignoring the progress of art, 
science, and the world at large, giving up even the greatest 
gift that God has given — speech — for the sake of thinking 
exclusively of God. 

Some, I presume, took it as a joke, some took it seriously, 
some looked as if they felt the weight of it, others appeared 
quite happy. 

When the service was over. Father Maurus came for a 
walk in the garden. He was very communicative, and told 
me the story of his life. It was a strange and sad story. 
Was he a weak-minded man to become a Trappist, I won- 
der? or did he show a strong will in giving up everything 
in the world to go and lead a silent life in that desolate spot? 

Next day I left the convent to pursue my journey on to 
the sacred mountain of Siao-ou-tai-shan. 


A narrow valley — Mud villages — The " Eighteen Terraces " — 
Devout muleteers — A tablet — Pure Mongol type — Incompre- 
hensible dialect — A perforated mountain — Sheu-men-tzu — Not 
a paradise of comfort — The " kan " — The walled courtyard — 
Chinese food — A panic — The magic rubber band — A wind 
storm — A strange phenomenon — A ghost-like dance — Blinding 

I PROCEEDED towards Tzie-tzia-pu-zu, on the right-hand 
side of the stream as one faces the tower of Tung-an-tzu. 
Then, turning north-west, I entered a narrow valley, the 
road all along being exceedingly picturesque, winding 
among huge boulders and rocks on either side, and at times 
forming beautiful gorges. We came across large and in- 
teresting caves, but probably the most curious thing notice- 
able in that neighbourhood was a hole pierced by Nature 
right through a mountain, near its summit. Here and 
there quaint little mud villages added life to the otherwise 
somewhat wild scenery. At noon the top of the Sheu-pa- 
pan pass was reached, the name of which, being translated, 
means " the eighteen terraces." As usual, a shrine had 
been erected on this pass, with five gods and a tablet in it. 
Two of these gods were appropriately the protectors of 
passes, and the entrance of the building faced the east. A 
few yards from it, in front, stood the wall — ever to be found 


in China — to prevent evil spirits from entering the temple. 
As we have seen, the builders of these temples and the 
worshippers in them labour under the impression that evil 
spirits can only travel in a straight line. Travelling in a 
roundabout manner they believe impossible to them, a cir- 
cumstance rather convenient for less ethereal people, since 
all you have to do to keep, not only temples, but even your 
own house, free from the visits of these objectionable call- 
ers, is to erect a small wall in front of the doorway, and you 
can thereafter live safe and undisturbed within the walls of 
your dwelling. 

The muleteers, who are about the only travellers on these 
lonely roads, are extremely devout, and even the men in 
my employ never missed an opportunity of paying their 
chin-chins to the gods inside the temples and shrines we 
passed on the roadside. 

The tablet in this particular temple was of the fifth moon 
of the fifteenth year of Tzia-tziu; or, in other words, dated 
from the present dynasty. 

South-east of the pass, a long way ofT. the towers of 
Tung-an-tzu could still be distinguished on the sky-line. 

Descending on the other side of the pass, I was particu- 
larly struck by the sudden and strongly-marked contrast in 
the type of the inhabitants. They were now of an abso- 
lutely pure Mongol type; they had larger and more slanting 
eyes, a flatter nose with wide nostrils, and appeared less in- 
telligent and quick than the natives we had so far encoun- 
tered. They spoke a dialect quite incomprehensible to us 
— even to my muleteers. We had noticed variations from 
one village to another in the pronunciation of the same 
words, but here, much to the concern of my men, we could 
not understand a single word. 


As we continued to descend, the valley grew wider. Late 
in the afternoon the village of the Kau family, Kau-tzia- 
chuan, was reached, and not very distant from it another 
quaint village, after which the hills closed in again, the road 
being- actually walled in between huge rocks perpendicular 
to the ground. 

A perforated and curiously-shaped mountain in the 
vicinity gives its name, " Mao-mian-tzu," to the next vil- 
lage we visited, and when we had toiled through yet an- 
other small valley, a ravine and a narrow pass, we left the 
region of the picturesque and solid granite, and came to 
one where it is replaced by soft earth of a ghastly yellow 

Towards six in the evening we halted at Sheu-men-tzu 
(the stone door), where we put up at the quaint little inn, 

A Chinese inn at its best is not a paradise of comfort, nor, 
indeed, a model of cleanliness or privacy. There are, of 
course, in China, inns that are larger than others, but; no 
matter what their size, all are equally and disgustingly dirty. 
Those in towns have separate small rooms, no bigger than 
ship cabins, with paper windows. A portion of the room, 
called the " kan," raised a couple of feet above the floor, 
and covered with a rough mat, is the part on which one 
sleeps at night and sits in the daytime. This raised por- 
tion being of masonry, and vaulted, a fire can be lighted 
under it in winter to keep one warm. There is possibly, 
when the "kan" is lighted, the disadvantage of having 
one's body broiled on one side and frozen on the other, 
unless one keeps turning over all the time, but that is only 
a trifle to travellers in the Celestial Empire. 

In villages where smaller inns — generally only one — are 
to be found, the accommodation is even worse. There is only 


one barren shed, with a '' kan " running the whole length of 
the longer wall, or sometimes two " kans," one at each end 
of the room. On these, packed together like sardines, 
travellers of all grades of society sleep at night in their 
clothes, or wrapped up in blankets. The majority of guests 
at these resting-places are usually muleteers or pedlars, for 
the better classes in China are not much given to travelling. 

One of the principal features of a Chinese inn is the walled 
courtyard, in which the carts, sedan chairs, mules, ponies, 
and donkeys are kept at night, the animals making such a 
diabolical noise that it is not easy to get much sleep. 

Most of these inns provide you with sleeping accommo- 
dation, pour fagon de parler, and tea. Travellers have to 
bring their own bedding and their own food. Something 
to eat can nevertheless always be obtained at these hostel- 
ries by making a special arrangement, and to any one not 
over fastidious there are several Chinese dishes that are 
quite palatable. For instance, the " laopings " (a cross be- 
tween an omelette and a tart) are, to my taste, quite de- 

Not many European travellers had been seen in these 
parts, and our appearance generally caused a great commo- 
tion. The moment the news of our arrival spread about, 
the room of the inn was invaded by swarms of natives, and 
our baggage, clothes, and all we possessed, inspected with 
ever-increasing curiosity. At this particular place. Sheu- 
men-tzu, I caused a panic in the crowd by showing them 
an indiarubber band, the expanding qualities of which made 
them bolt out of the room in terror. How a " ribbon," to 
use their expression, only a couple of inches long could sud- 
denly become a yard long and vice-versa was a mystery 
quite beyond them, and was looked upon as uncanny. They 
Vol. I. — 20 


kept discussing it all night — at a respectful distance, be it 
understood — and none of my things were fingered again as 
long as we remained.^ It is superfluous to say that, on my 
side, I never failed to produce the " magic rubber band " 
whenever, on after occasions, the natives bothered us too 
much with their inquisitiveness. 

I made a very early start, as a long day's journey was be- 
fore me, and by eight o'clock had already passed through 
To-cheng-pu and reached the plateau-like stretch of yellow 
earth on the summit of the hill-range. About an hour 
later, in a wind-storm, I began descending towards an im- 
mense plain — a regular desert — which lay for miles and 
miles stretched below me, losing itself in the sky on the 
horizon. We were fortunate enough to witness a strange 
phenomenon. Dozens of gigantic columns of dust, rising 
several hundred feet above the ground and formed by so 
many whirlwinds, were revolving at a terrific pace upon 
themselves, and moving about along the plain in a fantastic, 
ghost-like dance. Every now and then one vanished in a 
cloud of dust, and others, as if by magic, rose in a cone- 
like shape from the ground to join in the weird game of 
Nature. With incredible rapidity these moving dust cones 
assumed an immense height. 

On crossing the plain, although we naturally took care to 
avoid these whirlwinds, we were nearly caught in one of 
them, for they travel so swiftly and in such an erratic fashion 
that it is not always easy to get out of their way. The 
whizzing noise, as it swept by us, was fearful, and the dust 
raised was for some minutes blinding. Even stones of 
moderate size were lifted up several feet by the force of the 
rotatory movement of the wind. 

As we went on across this table-land — at Tao-la-tsuei the 


altitude was over 4,000 feet — the wind increased during the 
afternoon, and, as it blew in our faces, made travelling un- 
comfortable. At times such was its fury that it was all we 
could do to hold on to our saddles. It raised a fearful dust, 
and in the afternoon further thick masses of sand blew over 
us. The latter probably came from the southern part of 
the desert. It was like being in a dense yellow fog, and for 
some time we were at a loss as to where we were going. We 
lost the track in the blinding dust, and had considerable 
difficulty in finding it again. 


At the foot of the sacred mountain — The temple grounds — My 
Mongol guide — A south-west track — A treacherous stone — A 
violent shock — Anxious moments. 

Finally we reached Tku-fo-pu, and later we came to the 
foot of the sacred mountain which rejoices in the name of 
Siao-ou-tai-shan. We did not put up in the village, as there 
were no inns, but continued up the slope of the mountain 
to the temple of Tie-lin-tsen, and halted in the temple 
grounds, where accommodation for pilgrims is provided, 
similar to, and certainly no better than, that of the poorest 
inns. The altitude of the temple above the sea was 4,350 

Even as low down as the temple there were still patches 
of snow and a bridge of solid ice over a torrent. The ma- 
jestic Siao towered against the blue sky — now that the 
sand-storm was over — snow-clad here and there on its 
slopes, yet with much less snow than I expected to find on 
it at that time of the year. 

I prayed for a bright morning the next day, when I in- 
tended to ascend the highest peak, and my prayers were 
rewarded. The next morning came crisp and clear, a love- 
ly day for the ascent. 

At 5 A.M. I set out on the steep track, accompanied by a 


Mongol guide, a man no longer very young, who took 
plenty of time over everything he did, and who did nothing 
without stopping every few moments to have a smoke. Ac- 
cording to his ideas smoking could not be enjoyed unless 
he squatted on his heels, a process which further involved 
endless sighs and significant glances at the top of the moun- 
tain when he had to get up again. 

Detesting guides at all times as I do, I soon left him be- 
hind and proceeded by myself, sure that I could find my 
way without him. Things went well until I had reached 
an altitude of over 9,000 feet, when the track which I had 
so far followed seemed to branch oflf in two directions — one 
to the south-west, the other to the north-west, apparently 
skirting one of the lower peaks. 

I took the south-west track. It led me to a point where 
no human being could go further. Even where I stood the 
slope of the mountain was so steep that it required a steady 
foot not to slide down into the underlying precipice. A lit- 
tle further, a long ice-field, extending to the foot of the 
mountain, barred my way, so I decided to leave the track, 
and attempted to climb the peak above me, in order to see 
whether from that point of vantage I could perceive the 
right trail. I was carrying a water-colour paint-box and a 
block slung on a strong strap that crossed one shoulder and 
went under my arm. After a considerable amount of toil- 
ing I managed to crawl to the top on my hands and knees. 

Although this was, as yet, merely one of the lower peaks, 
the view was enchanting, and after all my hard work I was 
so hot that I sat on a most inviting stone on the edge of 
the slope and opened my paint-box to take a sketch. Next 
came the sorting-out of the brushes, when unexpectedly the 
treacherous stone on which I had comfortably settled gave 


way with a sudden jerk, and began sliding — with me still 
sitting on it — down the extremely steep slope. 

No effort on my part to stop the involuntary toboggan- 
ing was of any avail. I tried in vain to clutch the ground 
and seize any projecting stone in hopes of stopping my pre- 
cipitous descent, but at the speed I was going it was no easy 
matter to hold on even to anything I managed to clutch, 
especially as I was sliding with my back to the mountain, 
and was unable to turn round. With some alarm I realised 
that another hundred yards would bring me to the edge of 
the precipice. Over I should have gone, taking a fatal leap 
of several hundred feet. 

My hair stood on end as every second of my precipitate 
descent drew me nearer and nearer the dreaded spot, and 
how well engraved on my mind is the ghastly hollow sound 
of my heavy paint-box, which had preceded me by long 
leaps and bounds in my disastrous descent, and as it banged 
from boulder to boulder further down, the echo from moun- 
tain to mountain magnified the sound a thousand times. 
Then there was a final bang, far, far down below. The 
echo repeated it, and all was silence once more, except for 
the stones rolling down with me. 

Another half minute. . . . What fearful anxiety! 
. . . I closed my eyes. . . . 

A violent shock, which seemed nearly to tear my body in 
two, made me think that I had gone over. But no; as luck 
would have it, I had suddenly stopped. I dared not move, 
for I was still in a precarious position — only some ten or 
fifteen yards from the edge of the precipice, and trembling 
all over with excitement. I was very young in those days, 
and the prospect of the approaching leap had given me 
quite a shock. I was half unconscious, and it took me some 


minutes to realise where and how I was. I felt that I was 
suspended from somewhere, but, as I hung from behind, I 
did not know to what I was hanging, or for how long my 
tobogganing would be delayed. 

One thing I grasped, and that was that only the great- 
est caution would or could extricate me from the perilous 
position I occupied. 

My terror was not lessened when, on getting my wits 
back, I discovered that the weight of my body was sup- 
ported by a portion of my coat and the strong leather strap 
wdiich was slung under my arm, both of which, in dragging, 
had caught over a projecting stone. That had stopped me 
from certain death, but the slightest movement on my part, 
or a jerk, might still place me in great danger. 

Slowly, and with my back resting on the steep slope, I 
managed to get a footing, however slight. Then came the 
difficulty of turning round. Several anxious minutes, 
which seemed ages, and this feat -also was successfully ac- 
complished. Then I half lay with my body flat on the 
ground, clutching with both hands the rock that had saved 
my life, until my commotion had entirely passed away, and 
I crawled up cat-fashion, as I had done before, until I 
reached the treacherous trail again, following it back to 
where it parted. There I found the old guide squatting 
on his heels and quietly smoking his pipe, for he said he 
had seen that I had gone the wrong way, and should have 
to come back to that point. 

I never told him what had happened; he would have 
been too much amused. I also pretended not to hear when 
he asked me what I had done with my paint-box. 


The right trail — The summit of the mountain — The altitude — 
A wooden shrine — Images of Buddha — " Wishes " — The pan- 
orama — Mount Show-ho-ling and its giant neighbour — Over- 
hanging a precipice — On a wooden platform — An unsteady 
path — A hard jump — The Mongol guide and the gods — Gilt 
Buddhas — Another difficulty surmounted — An attempt to black- 
mail — Armed bonzes — Parting friends. 

This time the old Mongol put me on the right trail, and as 
he was such a slow walker I again started off alone. I 
made him give me my oil-colour paint-box, which he had 
been carrying for me; and with it, following a comparative- 
ly easy but steep track, I first reached a small but solidly- 
built shed, and then, climbing up the steeper and fairly dan- 
gerous part of the track, finally reached the summit of the 
highest peak. I said " fairly dangerous," for the last few 
yards before one reached the top of the pinnacle were not 
more than a foot wide, and on either side was a precipice, 
the bottom of which one could hardly see. In other words, 
the performance for those few yards was not unlike tight- 
rope walking, only with a drop of several thousand feet on 
both sides of you had you missed your fpoting. The alti- 
tude of the mountain was 12,000 feet. 

The pinnacle of the great Siao-ou-tai-shan was a huge 
rock, on the top of which, no larger than about ten feet 


in diameter, devout pilgrims had erected a small wooden 
shrine, about four feet square and six or seven feet high. 
In the interior, on shelves along the walls, there were bronze 
images of Buddha, and each of them was stuffed inside, 
through a hole provided for the purpose at the base of the 


image, with bits of paper on which were written prayers, 
or *' wishes " that pilgrims were anxious to obtain. 

More interesting than the shrine was the exquisite pano- 
rama obtained from the summit of Siao. On the south, 
south-east, and north-east sides mountain-range after 
mountain-range of considerable height encircled the sacred 
peak, blending from warm brownish tints in the foreground 
into the pure cobalt blue of the more distant peaks. 


Mount Show-ho-ling, 6,582 feet above sea-level, seemed 
a mere dwarf by the side of its giant neighbour. On the 
north and north-west side stretched, as far as human eye 
could see, a barren, flat plain; and far, far away beyond it, 
to the north, by the aid of a telescope, one could distin- 
guish, rising like a barrier, the mass of the Huan-yan-shang 

Overhanging a precipice, a short way below the summit, 
a temple had been erected in a place as difficult of access as 
human mind could devise. It is a very common thing for 
Buddhist fanatics to select dangerous sites for their places 
of worship, and presumably they labour under the impres- 
sion that the greater the difficulty and danger to be over- 
come in building these sacred places, the more the gods 
are pleased. The construction of these temples is often 
attended with loss of life, which the people willingly sacri- 
fice for their faith. 

The particular temple on Siao had been put up on an 
artificial wooden platform, supported on crowbars thrust 
into the almost perpendicular rock where part of the moun- 
tain had at some previous time collapsed, leaving the rock 
exposed. One could only reach the temple by walking on 
a path of unsteady narrow planks suspended by rotten ropes 
or resting on shaky crowbars along the rocky wall of the 
mountain, while directly under you was the precipice. 
There was no banister or protection of any kind on the out- 
side of this primitive suspension bridge, and on the inside 
you could not cling to anything, for the rock had been worn 
smooth by the ice, snow and rain. 

As I intended seeing all that there was to be seen, after 
travelling so far, I walked on the unsteady single planks, 
none of which were more than a foot wide, and with a cer- 



tain feeling of insecurity balanced myself as well as I could 
from plank to plank until I had traversed the precipice from 
one end to the other, and was at last near the platform. 
What was my surprise when, on looking in front of me, I 
discovered that the last plank of this primitive scaffolding 


had either fallen or been removed, and that in order to reach 
the platform of the temple a jump of over a yard was nec- 
essary — a short jump under ordinary circumstances, but a 
very long one when you reflected that you had to take your 
leap from a very unsteady point, and that if by chance you 
missed the platform or slipped, you had below you a drop 
of three or four hundred feet before you touched ground 


The Mongol guide appeared on the scene, and walked, 
unconcerned, along the shaky planks, as if he had been on 
the best and widest of high roads. I pointed out to him 
the predicament in which I was, and asked him if he would 
jump first to give me a hand, but he said he would not. 
'' The gods," he said, " have removed that plank because 
they knew there was a foreigner coming, and they did not 
wish him to see this sacred spot. If I were to help you," 
he added knowingly, " the gods would be angry with me 
and I should suffer." 

His excuse was not half bad. 

I took off my shoes as a precaution against slipping, and 
I leaped. 

There was very little of interest to see in the temple, ex- 
cept long rows of small images of Buddha, some gilt, some 
bronze colour, and similar to those in the small shrine on 
the apex of the mountain. These too, dozens of them in 
long rows, were the offerings of pilgrims, and each was 
stuffed with " wishes " and prayers. These " wishes " were 
mostly from sterile women praying for children, male in 
preference; from sufferers, beseeching the gods to get rid 
of complaints duly specified in the petition; or from less 
modest devotees, who asked for nothing less than health, 
wealth, and happiness. 

My curiosity satisfied, there now came the jump from the 
platform back on to the narrow plank, which was a much 
more difficult and risky performance than the reverse 
achievement. The slightest misjudgment in the distance 
or speed as you leaped would carry you to your doom. 

It required a great effort to make up one's mind to the 
jump, but eventually, with the assistance of the Mongol, 
who seized me firmly in his arms as I landed on the plank. 


even this difficulty was surmounted, and we gaily strode 
down the mountain towards the monastery. 

There were patches of ice and snow in cavities and shel- 
tered positions both on the northern and southern slopes 
of the lofty peak, but the parts more exposed to the sun 
w-ere free from either. No incident or accident marked the 
descent, and late in the afternoon I was back in the monas- 
tery near the foot of the mountain, enjoying a well-deserved 

During the night I heard noises of people running to and 
fro in the courtyard, and early the following morning, much 
before sunrise, one of my muleteers crept into my room and 
woke me up with the startling news that the bonzes of the 
temple had just attempted with threats to extort money 
from him. He had been commissioned by them to deliver 
the following message to me : 

" I must pay the bonzes a sum in taels equivalent to about 
£12 sterling for accommodation in the temple compound, 
or they would kill me." 

'' Tell them ' yes,' " was my answer; " but not till sunrise," 
and I instructed the muleteer to have everything ready to 
start with the first rays of light. 

There was a great commotion in the temple compound. 
I noiselessly made a hole in the paper window, and could 
distinguish the bonzes running from one room into another, 
and could hear them confabulating excitedly. I loaded the 
five chambers of my revolver, to be ready for any emerg- 

At dawn my traps were packed, and the mules, laden un- 
der my supervision, were ready to start, while the bonzes 
had all collected in front of the main gate, probably to pre- 
vent us going out. In fact, one of them even attempted to 


close the heavy gate. I stopped him, and setting- one of 
the Frenchmen on guard with a rifle, I made mules, mule- 
teers, and baggage leave the temple enclosure amidst the 
violent remonstrations of the bonzes, who now showed 
themselves in their true colours. They were worse than 
wild beasts, fierce yet cowardly. Some of them ran to their 
quarters, evidently in search of weapons. There was no 
time to be lost. Once the mules and baggage out, and we 
also outside the gate, the money due to them for two nights' 
lodging, amounting to some thirty shillings,* was handed 
to the chief bonze. 

Seeing that a number of bonzes were now coming to his 
assistance with knobbed mallets and pitchforks, the head 
bonze gave way to his temper, and inveighed furiously 
against us, inciting the priests to attack us. Arguing is not 
much in my line, particularly with scoundrels. I set my 
revolver under his nose and requested him to bid us a polite 
good-bye. Which he did, and he and the others suddenly 
turned into a most affectedly civil assemblage. 

Thus we parted friends ! 

* This sum was about five times the amount that a native gentleman 
would have had to pay for the same accommodation. 


Stoned — Thirteen hours in my saddle — Marshy country — A 
comfortable separate room — Sickening smell — " Only " dead of 
smallpox — In a drenching rain — Women in all their finery — 
Deformed feet — A miserable hamlet — The obstinate donkey 
and the hole-man — The highway from Pekin to Kalgan — A fine 
stone bridge — Numerous towers — Fire signalling — The Great 
Wall at Cha-tao — The gate of Tziun-kuan — Stockinged pigs — 
Caravans — The Nankao Pass — The Ming tombs — The avenue 
of gigantic animals — Our last halt — Unsanitary regulations — 
A festive village — Fishing. 

We quickly descended the hillside, and when we were some 
distance down I perceived a young bonze come out of the 
monastery by a back way and run by a short cut towards 
the village of Tkou-fo-pu, probably to incite the natives 
against us. Half an hour later, in fact, when we traversed 
the village, we were met by a very rowdy crowd and sub- 
jected to all sorts of insults, stones being fired (with con- 
siderable accuracy) at us. 

We forced our way through without receiving any serious 
injury, and by the same road we had followed on the out- 
ward journey reached Sheu-men-tzu late that same night. 
From this point I deviated from my former route, and trav- 
elled in a north-easterly instead of a south-easterly direction. 
We covered great distances every day. Thirteen hours in 
our saddles brought us from Sheu-men-tzu to our next 
halting-place, Fan-shan-pu, a somewhat tedious ride, with 


no exciting incidents. We went through a curious gorge 
past Ouang-kia-yao, Hned all along with willow-trees. The 
villages of Tasie-yao, Mie-tchan, and Tie-na were of no very 
great importance or interest, but Kiem-tsuen was quite a 
large and handsome town. Then we passed the marshes 
of Chang-chui-mo, which were picturesque enough, with 
willows growing to a very great height, and further on the 
village of Chia-chouei-mo came in sight. 

We spent the night at Fan-shan-pu. The inn at this 
place was large, and I was given a comfortable separate 
room. My two friends were in the next. The stench 
which came in gusts was so appalling that I became quite 
sick, and when I remonstrated with the innkeeper he said 
something was wrong with my nose; he could not smell 
anything. Sleeping outside was not possible, as it came on 
to rain heavily. All the other rooms were occupied. Dur- 
ing the night the odour became so unbearable that I pro- 
ceeded to investigate its origin. With a lighted candle I 
went out, and, sniilfing about, made sure that it came from 
the next room to mine, on the opposite side to that where 
the Frenchmen were, and which I had been told was occu- 
pied by three Chinese. I knocked at the door, left half 
opened, and receiving no answer pushed the door open with 
my knee while I held my nose tight with my hand. I raised 
the candle, and behold ! there were indeed three Chinese 
occupying it, but they were dead, and had evidently been 
so for some days. They were in the last stage of decom- 
position, their faces and hands black, and a mass of moving 
worms. The landlord, summoned in due haste, quietly re- 
plied that they had " only " died of smallpox, and had been 
there eight days. He was waiting for an order from an 
absent mandarin to have them removed. 


Still traversing the country from south-west to north-east, 
in a drenching rain, we visited the villages of Si-kou-ying, 
Hao-kwei-ying, and Sang-yein. Here the women, dressed 
in all their finery, turned out on their doorsteps to watch our 
arrival. Some looked quite attractive with their vari- 
coloured silk jupons and trousers, only the deformity of 
their stumpy feet, squeezed into tiny pointed shoes not 
longer than three or four inches, detracted a good deal from 
their otherwise graceful appearance. 

Towards noon we reached Ya-lo-wan, on the banks of the 
Hung-ho River, a miserable hamlet perched on a hill of yel- 
low earth. 

The river had to be waded. A Chinaman — a beggar, I 
thought — volunteered to take animals and men safely across 
for a sum of money, for he warned us that there were large 
holes in the river-bed, in which animals would sink for cer- 
tain should we cross without his aid. Well knowing the 
trick these men have of digging large holes in the river- 
beds while dry in summer, in order to extort money from 
timid travellers in other seasons, I declined his services, and 
proceeded to lead my mules, not right across the water to 
where the road began on the opposite side of the stream — 
for these trap-holes are usually dug in places where unwary 
travellers are likely to cross — but a few yards further up, 
landing every one of my party safely on the other side, with 
the exception of one donkey, who, like all the evil spirits of 
China, insisted on crossing in a straight line in front of his 
nose. The result was that when he was in mid-stream he 
sank into one of the holes, and, with the weight of the load 
on his back, disappeared. Only the points of his ears could 
be seen wagging out of the water. The hole-man, who had 
eagerly been watching for this, sprang into the river to 

Vol. I. — 21 


the rescue of animal and load, for which he was duly 

We made the next halt at Houai-lai-shien, a fairly large 
town, 1,653 ^^^t above sea-level, and intersected by the 
highway from Pekin to Kalgan, and thence to Siberia. A 
fine stone bridge is to be found just beyond one of the gates. 
Three hours' journey brought us to Yu-ling-pu, and another 
hour to Paol-chan. Here we came to numerous towers 
similar to those of the wall described at Tung-an-tzu, but no 
signs of a wall joining these towers could be discerned, 
though in all probability even these square structures were 
in olden days connected by an earthen wall, or possibly even 
by a light stone wall. Many of these towers bore the ap- 
pearance of having been used for fire-signalling. Not far 
from these we reached the Great Wall at Cha-tao, where 
walls and towers were much larger than at any other place 
in China. 

Cha-tao (1,470 feet above sea-level) was situated on the 
semi-circle described by the Great Wall between this point 
and Cha-san-ku. The wall was double between these two 
points, and formed a kind of huge semi-circular castle walled 
all round. The Great Wall of China was extraordinarily well 
constructed, for, considering the centuries since its erection, 
it was yet in marvellous preservation, except for the roofs 
of towers that had fallen through. This particular portion 
of the wall was enormously wide, and had a number of 
towers at short intervals. It was quite an imposing sight, 
as it went up over the barren slopes of the nearer hills and 
down on the other side, certainly the most gigantic work of 
masonry in the world. 

The gate of Tziun-kuan dates from the third moon of the 
first year of Tzin-tai, but for actual beauty, to my mind, the 


Kin-youn-knan gate was superior. Its stone carvings, both 
under the archway and outside, were magnificent. 

As I was sketching the gate I saw a strange sight. A 
number of fat pigs passed along the road, their feet clad 
in neat little socks to prevent them getting sore while 
travelling long distances. 

Through the above-mentioned gates was the great high- 
way from China to Siberia. As we continued our journey 
we encountered thousands of camels carrying tea to Siberia. 
Caravan after caravan went by, the camel at the head of each 
dingling a monotonous bell, the drivers perched on the 
hump, and now and then a quaint, long-legged baby camel 
struggling along to keep up with its mother. It was curious 
to notice how difficult it was for a camel to go up even a 
moderate hill. For instance, ascending the Nankao Pass, 
a very gentle incline, seemed a great effort for them. 

We left the high road at Nankao, in order to visit the 
Ming tombs. That of Yunloh was the handsomest; then 
the mausoleum to Chan-su-uen, a simple but dignified 
structure in masonry and red lacquer, with a double roof 
similar to a pagoda, was very attractive. The stone gate- 
way, surmounted by two animals, was graceful and simple. 
I must confess disappointment in the " avenue " of gigantic 
stone animals and figures, of which I had heard so much. 
To me they did not appear gigantic at all; on the contrary, 
they seemed small, and sure enough some of the animals, 
such as the elephant and camel, were smaller than life-size. 

Our last halt was made at Chang-ping-tchu. In the 
morning, as we left the town under the city wall, we saw a 
number of bodies of men who had died of starvation, and 
from the stench they had apparently been left there some 
time. But the Chinese were never great at sanitary regula- 


tions. Two or three were half buried under a pile of large 

We crossed over the bridge to Cha-touen, a very festive 
village, where, though early in the morning, a diabolical 
dramatic representation, with accompaniment of excruciat- 
ing music, was taking place in a large outdoor theatre. The 
^houses were decorated with paper flowers and lanterns; 
undoubtedly one of the festivals ot some kind, which are 
innumerable in China, was going on. 

As we followed the river course we were much interested 
in the skilful way in which, by means of a small hand-net 
the natives captured large quantities of small fish, not un- 
like whitebait, and which my muleteer pronounced delicious 
to eat. 

Drawing nearer the capital the houses grew thicker, and 
the villages and towns came in quick succession. The dusty 
highway was thronged with people, camels, horses, mules, 
and donkeys, and now and then a palanquin conveying a 
high official to or from the greatest centre of the East. 
Coolies, with their huge conical hats, were running to and 
fro with heavy loads of vegetables or merchandise, and 
everything was life and business. 

At sunset we entered Pekin by the north gate, thus ending 
my enjoyable trip to the Trappists and the great Siao-ou- 























A good rest — The prevalent idea — The Generals of the Allies 
and their opinion — Unnecessary accusations — Reinforcements 
— Prominent features in Tientsin — Bathing not a luxury — The 
Russian and American bands — News of the Legations — Sir 
Claude MacDonald's pathetic letter — A message to the Ameri- 
can Consul and one to the Japanese Consul. 

After the taking of Tientsin city, and the excitement of 
looting it, it was felt by the Allies that a good rest was 
necessary before an attempt to relieve the Pekin Legations 
could be made. 

As a matter of fact, the idea was prevalent in Tientsin 
that the Ministers and all foreigners in the capital could 
not have escaped massacre. Certainly everything pointed 
in that direction, and if the Imperial troops in Pekin were 
as well armed and drilled as those who fought in Tientsin, 
we could but surmise that the Legations, with the small 
guards and limited ammunition, could not have withstood 
a long and severe siege. 

Brigadier-General Dorward and the Generals of the other 
Allies were of the opinion that, considering the strength of 
the enemy between Tientsin and Pekin, at least 25,000 men 
were necessary for an advance. Some suggested that 40,000 
would be a figure at which a greater chance of success might 
be expected. 


Admiral Seymour himself thought that no less than 40,- 
000 would be necessary to fight and keep communications 
open. The rainy season, which was late that year, would 
be coming shortly, and would render the country almost 
impassable, as there were no roads to speak of, and every 
inch of the railway had been destroyed. General Dorward's 
idea of travelling up by river was not looked upon favour- 
ably by most commanders. 

The Russians, who expected large reinforcements, seemed 
inclined to wait till their men had arrived, which would 
be about the middle of August or beginning of September, 
when a dash for the capital might be made with comparative 
quickness and security, as the rains would be over by that 
time. To start and have a second edition of Seymour's 
experience would be much worse than not to start at all. 

There was method in their way of thinking, and more 
sense than appears at first sight. Uselessly to sacrifice 
thousands of lives and yet not attain the desired end. seemed 
of no profit to any one. If an advance were made at all, it 
must be made with every possible prospect of victory. 

Whispered, unnecessary accusations were made about 
the secret aims of the Slavs, and absurd rumours were 
spread of machinations between Russians and Chinese. 
Others went even so far as to believe that Russian troops 
from Siberia were already in possession of Pekin, and would 
try tp keep the other Allies out ! It would be interesting to 
know who was originating these wild statements. 

While all this talk was going on in the settlements, and 
while official discussions and councils of war were taking 
place almost daily, followed by genial dinners given by one 
General or another, nothing whatever was being done. 

Troops continued to arrive from Port Arthur, Japan, 



Hong Kong, and Manila, and stores were now being 
brought up fast from Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Nagasaki. 

Several things impressed one in the settlements when 
matters grew quieter. 

Probably the most prominent feature were the American 
mule teams, with their reckless 
drivers, which were greatly 
admired when one could 
avoid being run over by them. 
Then the jovial, florid, naval 
face of Captain Bayly, the 
Provost Marshal of Tientsin, 
who sat on a horse which he 
rode up and down the Victoria 
Road at all hours of the day. 
On the verandah of the prin- 
cipal hotel a swarm of Russian 
of^cers were at all times to 
be seen drinking each other's 
health, of which they seemed 
to have already an exuberance, 
and making grand bows to 
one another, while British of- 
ficers sprawled disjointedly along the road with their well- 
cut clothes, and an eyeglass often stuck over the eye, which 
did not always add to their otherwise intelligent appear- 

The British Tommy w^as nicely mannered and quiet, but 
bore an absent-minded look about his face; while Jack Tar 
was free and easy, as usual, and quite at home, as if the whole 
place belonged to him. 

There was plenty of dash in the Americans, whose clothes, 



nevertheless, appeared somewhat tight-fitting — a contrast 
to the solemn, turbaned Indian troops, whose ample knickers 
made up for the painful thinness of their legs. 

Notwithstanding that the water of the river, canals, and 
ponds had been polluted by dead bodies, the native troops 
were seen daily bathing outside the mud wall, where the 


accompanying photograph was taken. Europeans had 
given up washing long before, as the water supply was lim- 
ited, and a bath was indeed a luxury in which very few could 

The little Japanese, silent, steady, and well-behaved, were 
like ants, ever busy, carrying things here and there, moving 
guns, drilling, foraging, grooming horses, washing clothes, 
cleaning rifles, or polishing their swords and bayonets. 
They had established the most reliable and well-conducted 


field post-office, although a Chinese post-office had been 
reopened by the British, as well as one in the German 

The evenings were enlivened by the excellent Russian 
band, which played selections from operas and well-known 
airs, and by the capital American band, which went in for 
less classical l)ut nevertheless captivating music, such as 
" The Belle of New York," " The Casino Girl," &c. 

Various unsuccessful attempts had been made to com- 
municate with Pekin by means of disguised messengers. 
Day after day passed, and we heard no news of the besieged, 
which made us fear the worst. 

A telegram had been received by his Excellency Director- 
General Sheng on July 7, and we in Tientsin heard of it in 
due course of time. The despatch contained news of the 
besieged, but although it purported to come from his Ex- 
cellency Yuan-Shih-Kai, Governor of Shantung, and had 
been duly confirmed by Her Majesty's Consul at Chinanfu, 
it was much discussed, and little credence was attached to 
it in Tientsin. It ran: — 

" A messenger has just arrived, having left Pekin on 
July 3. He states that two Legations are still uncaptured. 
The troops and Boxers are much disheartened. The former 
have lost over 2,000 killed, and many of the Boxer ring- 
leaders have also been slain. 

" They do not dare to approach the Legations, and the 
Boxers say that their mystic powers have been broken by 
the foreigner. 

" The messenger further says that if the foreigners have 
sufficient food and ammunition they ought to be able to 
hold out for a long time." 

It was not till July 29 that the Allies woke up to the real 


state of affairs, on the receipt by the British Consul of the 
following pathetic letter from Sir Claude MacDonald: — 

" British Legation, 

" Pekin, July 4, 1900. 

" We are here surrounded by Chinese Imperial troops 
who have fired upon us continuously since June 20. We 
hold following line: — American Legation and forty yards 
up south wall Tartar city above same, Russian Lega- 
tion, British ditto, also some part of the opposite (this last 
held by Japanese), French Legation and German ditto; all 
other Legations outside this line and Customs buildings 
burned by enemy and ruins held by them — their barricades 
close our lines on all sides. Enemy are enterprising but 
cowardly. They have four or five cannon, a i-inch quick 
firer, two 3-inch ditto, and two 9 and 15-pounders, used 
mostly for battering purposes. Our casualties are, up to 
date, forty-four killed and about double that number 
wounded. We have provisions for about two weeks, but are 
eating our ponies. If Chinese do not press their attack we 
can hold out for some days — say ten, but if they show de- 
termination it is a question of four or five, so no time should 
be lost if a terrible massacre is to be avoided. 

" The Chinese Government, if one exists, have done noth- 
ing whatever to help us. We understand that all gates 
are held by enemy, but they would not stand an attack by 
artillery. An easy entrance could be effected by the sluice 
gate of the canal which runs past this Legation through 
south wall of Tartar city. 

(Signed) " Claude MacDonald." 

Directly afterwards a second messenger brought to Mr. 
Ragsdale, the American Consul, a small piece of tissue 


paper, on which was a cypher message from Mr. Conger, 
the United States Minister. It was dated July 21, and said 
that the Chinese had ceased firing by agreement. The 
Legations had sufficient provisions, but Httle ammuni- 
tion. They could hold out for some days. Fifty had been 

With much gentlemanly thoughtfulness Mr. Ragsdale 
immediately communicated to all his colleagues the con- 
tents of the message, and so, with excellent politeness, did 
the Japanese Consul, who received a messenger a few days 
later from Colonel Shiba. 

August I, 1900. 
" Circular. 

" The undersigned has the honour to present his compli- 
ments to his colleagues, and to circulate for their informa- 
tion the accompanying copy of the statement of a special 
messenger sent by his Imperial Japanese Majesty's Legation 
at Pekin, who has arrived here on July 31. 

" Nagamasa Sey. 
" His Imperial Japanese Majesty's Consul. 
" To the consul for France, 

" Great Britain, 
" " " Germany, 

" Russia, 
" " " the United States of America, 

'' Belgium. 
" His Imperial Japanese Majesty's Consul, 
" A special messenger who left Pekin July 23 arrived 
here July 31 after detention of four days by Chinese 


" He swallowed up a slip of letter from the Japanese Lega- 
tion before he was caught by Chinese soldiers at the time 
of his creeping out of ' sluice ' at the south of British Lega- 

" The following is substance of his statement: 

" ' Mi-Tei, of the Japanese Legation, who handed me the 
letter, had ordered me to proceed to Ho-hsi-Wu, or Yang- 
tsun, where I may find Japanese troops marching up towards 
Pekin. A few days after armistice, the strict order was 
given by General Tung that no provisions should be allowed 
to enter into the Legations. I presume the object of arm- 
istice proposed by Chinese Government may largely be 
attributed to the fact that a large portion of troops under 
General Tung have left Pekin for Pei-tsang, to assist the 
troops in checking the advance of foreign troops and also 
to gain time in waiting for reinforcements from the south. 
I heard news when released by Chinese soldiers that Gen- 
eral Sung and Viceroy Yu memorialised the throne that the 
Taku forts and Tientsin must be recovered by them with 
the assistance of troops under Yuan-Shih-Kai, Lo Ping 
Hong, and other Governor-Generals of the south. This 
was duly sanctioned by the Emperor, who issued decree to 
that effect on the 28th and 29th of sixth moon. All foreign- 
ers are keeping up their spirits with daily expectation of 
speedy arrival of foreign troops.' 

" The following news reached at this Consulate in the 
morning of August i, 1900: — 

" ' Two principal leaders of Boxers, named Tsuao Fu Teu 
and Chang Te Cheng, who were supported by and attached 
to the Viceroy Yu at the beginning of the war, were killed. 


Soon after the fall of Tientsin city the former was arrested 
and shot to death by Chinese, and the latter was murdered 
three days ago by Chinese at Wan Cha Koa, about 100 li 
from Tientsin. 

" ' Mi Tel' " 


Preparing for the advance — A conference of Generals — An 
immediate start — A reconnaissance — On August 4 — A guard for 
Tientsin — The number of troops marching on Pekin — At the 
Siku Arsenal — The position of the Allies — Pei-tsang — Enemy 
in great force — The Americans — The magazine — The first line 
of Chinese trenches. 

This news from Pekin, which came as a great surprise to 
everybody, stirred the blood of the Allies. It was plain 
that, although still alive, the besieged in the Legations 
were in a sorrowful plight. At any cost, an attempt to re- 
lieve them must be made at once. It was impossible to rest 
idle only eighty miles away, and let men, women, and 
children of our blood be slaughtered by these barbarians. 

For two or three days there was a great commotion in 
Tientsin to prepare for the advance. Pekin carts were com- 
mandeered in all directions, and saddles, ponies, mules, don- 
keys, and rickshaws. Ponies and mules fetched high 
sums, and were very difificult to obtain. I was fortunate 
enough to get some good mules and Chinese artillery pack- 
saddles, which came in very handy to carry the heavy load 
of photographic plates and cameras that I intended using 
on the way. 

On August 3, at 10 a.m., a conference of generals was 
held, at which it was decided, at the instance of General 



Yamaguchi, that the combined forces of the Allies now 
ready in Tientsin should make an immediate start for Pekin, 
without waiting for the arrival of further reinforcements. 
It was proposed that the movement should begin on August 


5, but afterwards agreed that the advance could be made on 
the 4th. 

The Japanese division had arrived in Tientsin on July 2i, 
and had since made a reconnaissance to locate the enemy, 
and discover his strength. 

It was not till the afternoon of the 4th that the troops 
began to move out of the settlement, raising clouds of dust 
on the road, and rattling the heavy gun carriages over the 
rickety wooden bridges outside Tientsin native city. 

Three battalions of Japanese infantry from all regiments, 
commanded by Major Eguchi, were left as a guard in 



Tientsin, as well as some Indian British troops, Russian and 
French soldiers, and Italian marines. 

The troops that took part in the advance were about 
sixteen or eighteen thousand in number, and consisted of — 
Japanese: one brigade of infantry, and all the cavalry avail- 
able; four companies of artillery; one company of engineers. 


British: Royal Welsh Fusiliers, Royal Artillery, 7th 
Bengal Infantry, ist Bengal Lancers, ist Sikhs, 24th Punjab 

American: 9th and 14th Infantry. 

The Japanese, British and Americans were to work in a 
joint movement on the west bank of the River Pei-ho, while 
the Russians (East Siberian Regiment and Cossacks), 
French, and Austrians were to march on the east bank. The 
Russians proposed to come over to the west bank, owing to 
the great difficulty of getting through the country on the 
opposite side of the stream, but this was not allowed, and 


Vol.. I. — 22 


they therefore remained on the east bank with the Austrians, 
Germans, and Italians. 

The night of the 4th was spent by the Allies around the 
Siku, or Hsiku, arsenal, the English and Russians acting as 
outposts, and the Japanese being placed on the extreme left. 
The Russians occupied the Siku arsenal itself, in the centre 
of the line, the British and Americans the right and left 
centre, and the Japanese the extreme left. 

From the Siku arsenal a double embankment, six feet 
high, ran along in a north-westerly direction as far as a 
magazine, then turned almost north beyond it. Two build- 
ings, a gunpowder magazine, a small village, and a few 
scattered houses and granaries, stood in the large triangular 
stretch of flat country, now covered with crops (Indian corn) 
four feet high, that was enclosed by the river on one side and 
the road embankment on the other, the Siku arsenal being 
the point of the triangle. 

Pei-tsang, where the Chinese were reported in great force, 
was about six thousand yards north-west of Siku. The 
Chinese were very strongly entrenched behind several lines 
of earthworks stretching to the south-west from Pei-tsang 
and to the south-east along a mud wall. There were several 
miles of trenches, very skilfully laid out, and the enemy had 
placed behind them six guns at their extreme right, nine 
field guns in the centre of the line, three guns directly west 
of Pei-tsang, and eight guns near the granaries south-east of 
the village. It was, indeed, a formidable position to attack. 

During the night the Allies took up a position to the 
south of the embankment, the Japanese occupying the ex- 
treme left wing, close to the magazine, where they brought 
up their artillery, under the command of Major-General 
Tskamoto, with the 21st brigade of infantry, the 5th regi- 


ment of cavalry, one company of engineers, the 5th regiment 
of artillery, and ambulances. 

To the right, under the command of Major-General 
Manabe, was the 9th brigade, one company of cavalry, one 
battery of artillery, one company of engineers. Red Cross 
ambulances, &c. 

The reserve consisted of the nth regiment, taken out of 
the 9th brigade, and one company of engineers. 

Next to the Japanese along the embankment were the 
British forces, under cover, consisting of the Royal Welsh 
Fusiliers, 7th Bengal Infantry, the Royal Artillery, the ist 
Sikhs, and 24th Punjab Infantry. 

The Americans, for some unaccountable reason, lost their 
way, and therefore were not in the position assigned to them, 
nor did they take any part in the engagement. 

The I St Bengal Lancers were on the open ground where 
high crops were growing south of the embankment, and a 
few hundred yards away from it. 

At 4 A.M. on August 5, the Allies had taken up their posi- 
tions, the head portion of the Japanese 5th division ex- 
cepted, which had moved forward at 10 o'clock the previous 
evening (August 4). They had pushed their way right up 
to the Chinese sentries near the magazine, and with the first 
rays of light, at 4.20, got the first glimpse of the enemy. 
Ten minutes later, at 4.30, the magazine was in the hands 
of the Japanese. With this was also captured the first line 
of Chinese trenches. Three thousand Chinese troops were 
reported to be guarding the powder magazine, but they 
withdrew to their main defences, and a Japanese battery was 
set to work at this spot. 


The battle of Pei-tsang — Drawing the enemy's fire — The 
Japanese artillery — Occasional jokes — A Chinese shell — A spot 
of comparative safety — Japanese wounded — A narrow escape — 
Japanese humour — The Royal Artillery — Chinese fire slacken- " 
ing — The British cavalry — The 41st Japanese — Photographs 
under fire — Capturing enemy's trenches — Heavy casualties — A 
touching scene — The enemy driven from his trenches. 

Shortly before any firing began I climbed with a friend 
over the embankment to see whether the enemy was in sight, 
with the result that we were ourselves placed in full sight of 
the enemy against the sky-line, and three or four shells 
whizzed uncomfortably near us, exploding, fortunately, 
a little way beyond. From this moment the Chinese, sus- 
pecting the whereabouts of the Allies, began to send shell 
after shell into our position with considerable accuracy, but 
did comparatively little damage, as the shells burst twenty 
or thirty yards beyond the embankment. 

The Japanese artillery at this point of the advance was 
doing splendidly, the officers calmly smoking their ciga- 
rettes as the shells burst freely around them. The Chinese 
had found the exact range of the Japanese guns, and were 
making their position very hot; the gunners and their of- 
ficers, however, were wonderfully cool and composed, crack- 
ing occasional jokes when shells burst too near. The 


moment any one was wounded he was bandaged up and 
carried away on an ambulance. 

One soldier was standing under a tree, holding three 
horses, when a Chinese shell dropped between him and the 
animals, and they were all killed, and gashed about in a fear- 
ful manner. 

Interesting as it all was, I thought that it was wiser for 
me to go and see what the British artillery was doing a little 
further back along the embankment. It had not yet come 
into action. Thinking this a spot of comparative safety, 
as only occasional shells were bursting here, instead of a 
regular hail of them, I was just talking to some soldiers, 
when a shell exploded directly over our heads, wounding 
one man badly in the neck, and another slightly. 

There being no prospect of an immediate advance, and 
this artillery duel continuing, I decided to go still farther 
back among the high corn nearly to the place where the 
Bengal Lancers were in reserve. I squatted down on the 
ground, and was writing up my notes, when some Japanese 
Red Cross men approached, and asked me whether this was 
a safe spot, as they wished to bring some wounded. On my 
answering in the affirmative, of¥ they went, and presently 
returned with two stretchers on which were two Japanese 
severely wounded. I went to help them to lay down the 
poor suffering creatures, when a solitary shell exploded just 
above us, and again wounded one of the men on the 

There was some grim humour in the remark that the 
Japanese doctor made to me. " I think," said he, in his 
quaint English, "you make mistake when you speak this 
place safe;" and he mimicked with his mouth the noise of 
the bursting shell, and with his hands the way in which the 



different pieces had whizzed past our ears. " May be not 
quite safe, but you see I am Japanese ! I may not know, you 
see." And, with a comical gesture, he looked up towards 
the sky to see if more missiles were coming. 

The Royal Artillery was now coming into action, the 
offtcers taking the range from the embankment. It was 
interesting to see how smartly the guns were brought up in 


position, but only a few shots were fired. Some of our 
gunners were wounded. 

The Chinese were gradually slackening their artillery fire, 
and apparently withdrawing their guns, when General Fuku- 
shima sent word to the British asking that the cavalry might 
immediately be despatched to co-operate with the Japanese 
in the advance on the Chinese position. Somehow or other, 
the British cavalry never arrived, and the Japanese — only 
one regiment of artillery — marched forward alone. 

The 41st Regiment led the advance with one battalion 
on the left wing. The fighting was very severe, the Japanese 



suffering heavily, as can be seen by the series of photographs 
here appended, which I took on the spot. 

The Chinese were gradually driven away from their lines 
of trenches, but made a stubborn resistance. The full-page 

jai' solhieks photographed as they were heing killed 

photograph, which, unfortunately, owing to the light at 
the moment it was taken, is not as sharp as it might be, but 
which, being a document, I have left in its original state, 
shows the plucky Japanese taking a short rest owing to the 
fearful heat, after having captured one trench. 

The second full-page shows a Chinese old gun on the 
second line of trenches firing on the Japanese. In the centre 
of the photograph a detachment can be seen dashing across 
the corn to storm the position while another detachment 
attacked the position from the left side. Naturally the Chi- 
nese did not confine themselves to firing with a gun ; Mauser, 








Mannlicher, and gingal bullets were falling thickly. More- 
over, the Chinese were using Maxims with considerable 

As we advanced from one trench to the next under this 


heavy fire, the plucky little Japanese dropped down, killed 
or wounded. Then a poor corporal, whom I snapshotted, 
rolled down, a victim to a bullet; the cross-page illustration 
is another snapshot which I took of the string of soldiers, 
wounded and killed, that we left behind on the field. To 
the left of the picture (page 344), in exaggerated propor- 
tions (as they were close to me), are the haversack, water- 
bottle, and muzzle of the rifle of the soldier just ahead of 
me, who was running and firing, avoiding to tread on the 
bodies of the fallen. In the foreground lies a man just killed, 
and, a yard or so further on, a couple more. A most tragic 
scene had occurred in a few seconds. The one to the right 
wavered ahead of us, apparently mortally wounded. His 


companion stopped for a moment to support him, when he, 
too, fell dead by the side of his friend. It may be noticed 
that the distance from these bodies — taken just as they were 
falling — to myself was no more than three yards. 

As the enemy was driven out of his positions and we came 
to their trenches, we found the Chinese soldiers we had 
killed, one of whom is represented in the next picture (page 


> * 


Chinese guns — The Japanese cavalry — Ten guns captured — 
Success after success — Maxims — An amusing incident — In the 
Chinese trenches — A ghastly spectacle — The Russian and 
French — The Japanese Engineers — Sharp fighting — To pursue 
the enemy — A report — The Chinese troops — A severe blow — 
A great battle — The pontoon bridge — Japanese Red Cross. 

The Chinese guns were still giving considerable trouble, and 
the Royal Artillery had taken up a second position near the 
granaries (north of its first position), from which, as the 
Japanese were advancing so rapidly, it soon shifted again, 
and occupied a third position still further north. 

In the meantime the Japanese cavalry, with a dash that 
could not be equalled, also charged the enemy, now retreat- 
ing towards Pei-tsang village, and with great gallantry suc- 
ceeded in capturing eight guns. The Chinese had, how- 
ever, withdrawn nearly all the artillery from their central 

The photograph shows a captured Chinese gun being 
taken away from its position by Japanese cavalry. 

When once the retreat began, it was rapid, success after 
success being gained by the victorious army. One position 
after another fell, and the main body of the enemy was re- 
treating even from Pei-tsang itself, but had left sufficient 
men to cover the retreat. Their heavy artillery ceased to 


fire on us as we advanced, but they had some vicious Maxims 
which still poured lead into us. 

One of these weapons was trained on a small bridge over 
a brook which we were bound to cross, and many a soldier 
was wounded in the hail of bullets that could not be escaped. 


The first soldiers who came unexpectedly into it fared badly. 
Fortunately I was not hit. Others made a passage under the 

A curious incident happened. I saw a number of Japanese 
coolies running along, following the soldiers, and I had just 
time to shout to them " Abunai! Abunai!" ("Look out! 
look out! "), and while the bullets made a noise like hail on 
the wooden boards of the bridge the little fellows covered 
their heads with their blankets, as they would do in a hail- 
storm, and dashed across. One man was wounded in the 

When we reached the place where the road crossed the 
Chinese trench, a commanding position, where the enemy 
had placed three guns, we found interesting sights. The 


earthworks and trenches, several miles in length, had been 
constructed with extraordinary skill, and in them stood the 
picturesque tents and sheds of the soldiers, many of whom 
now lay dead, mostly shot in the face. In the trenches 
themselves were thousands of empty Mauser and Mann- 
licher cartridges and packages of unused ammunition, while 
in the camp could be seen their cooking utensils, big bowls 


(The missing limb to the extreme right of photograph.) 

and vessels, in which, apparently, rice was being cooked 
when the attack began, as well as cups and swords and 
soldiers' discarded clothes. By the roadside, where one 
gun had been, was a horrible spectacle. 

A Japanese or British shell had apparently dropped in 
the midst of a group, and had frightfully mutilated one man; 
another, of whom I give a photograph, was not so badly 
gashed. His left leg, however, had been blown clean off. 
The missing portion of the limb can be seen to the right 
of the photograph. 

As the British cavalry was not forthcoming, the Japanese 
filled the centre with their own infantry. 


The enemy was now driven out of all his positions ex- 
cept Pei-tsang village itself. The Russians and French, 
who, owing to inundations, had found great difficulty in 
advancing on the opposite side of the stream, were threat- 
ening them from the south-east, and the Japanese engineers 
were working hard at cutting roads and trenches along the 
banks of the river, notwithstanding the heavy fire of the 

It was curious to note how many Chinese wounded had 
gone to hide in the cornfields, and had preferred to die 
there rather than fall into the hands of the Allies. 

Sharp fighting took place near the village itself, but 
eventually the Japanese entered it, and put the enemy in full 

The right wing (Japanese) was ordered to pursue and 
cut off, if possible, the flight of the Chinese, but the fighting 
had been very hard for these brave men — nearly eight long 
hours of it — and the enemy had a good start. 

At Pei-tsang itself the fight was over at about noon. 
Sniping continued for some time afterwards from the fields 
on the opposite side of the Pei-ho. The Japanese and Brit- 
ish, followed later by the others, pushed on directly to the 
second village, finding no further resistance. 

I was talking to Generals Yamaguchi and Fukushima, 
when up galloped a cavalryman, who jumped oflf his horse, 
and, saluting, gave a report from the party pursuing the 
enemy. The Chinese were well ahead, with twelve flags 
and six guns. Their number was estimated at 6,000, and 
they were falling back on Yangtsun. ^ 

The Chinese troops which had been fighting at Pei-tsang 
had been reported as 8.000 in number, besides a great num- 
ber of Boxers who had joined in the fighting. These, like 


the soldiers, had been armed with excellent rifles, and pro- 
vided with lavish ammunition. 

There is no doubt that at this, the most important battle 
fought in the advance on Pekin, the Chinese troops received 
a blow from which they never recovered. They ever after 
offered no determined resistance, and although occasionally 

(Soldier shot in the bead by sniper.) 

giving considerable trouble, were driven from position to 
position with comparative ease. 

The battle of Pei-tsang was a great battle, well fought on 
both sides, and will always remain a fine page in the history 
of Japan, for the Japanese alone did practically all the work, 
and won the victory for the Allies. 

Some little distance beyond Pei-tsang the Japanese capt- 
ured a pontoon bridge, leading to a handsome but deserted 
Chinese camp on the other side of the river. There were a 
number of huge, conical white tents with flags. Here, too, 


several cauldrons were found full of boiled rice, and large 
bowls with sundry vegetables — evident signs of an inter- 
rupted meal. The quantity of cartridges found was very 

In the illustration (page 351) the camp can just be per- 
ceived in the distance, while almost in the centre, in the 


foreground, a man may be seen falling, shot in the head by 
the stray bullet of a sniper. 

The Japanese Red Cross workers did marvels that day, 
and were kept very busy, for the Japanese losses were heavy. 
According to the official list, they had one officer and forty- 
one soldiers killed, eight missing, and twelve officers and two 
hundred and thirty-four soldiers wounded. 

In the photograph, the men with stretchers were taken 
collecting wounded during the battle, under heavy fire. 


3 S3 

Their Red Cross men were armed with rifles in battle, as can 
be seen in the illustration. 

Eight guns were captured from the Chinese, and here I 


give a picture of them, with a proud officer standing by 
their side. Seventy muskets, a lot of ammunition, sev- 
enty-five swords and bayonets, and sixty-nine tents, were 
also seized. 

Vol. I. — 23 


The enemy in strong force — On <he east bank of the Pei-ho— 
Transport troubles — Chinese mules and their ways — The Ben- 
gal Lancers — Enemy commanding a wedge-shaped position — 
The railway embankment — The line of battle — Slow advance 
, under heavy fire — The ist Sikhs and American Infantry — Rus- 
sian Artillery — Brave Lieut. Murphy, Capt. Scott and Capt. 
Martin — Two single lines — Severe Orders — Chinese withdraw 
in good order — Chinese trenches — Enemy protecting their re- 
treat — Chinese mistaken for French — Americans taken for 
Chinese — Pursuing the enemy — Casualties — An American 

It was decided to follow up the Chinese at once to Yang- 
tsun, and to give them no time to recover from the blow 
received at Pei-tsang. 

The troops camped that night just beyond the pontoon 
bridge, and the Russians, French, and Austrians, being un- 
able to deploy on their side of the river owing to the inunda- 
tions, crossed over and joined the main body of the force 
on the west side of the stream. 

One squadron of the ist Bengal Lancers made a recon- 
naissance towards Yangtsun, discovered the enemy in strong 
force, and returned to camp during the night. 

The troops began to march forward again at 6 a.m. on 
the 6th, and the Japanese (the Manabe brigade), with the 



Russians, British, Americans, French and Austrians, all 
marched this time on the east bank of the river. 

And here, with the rough roads, began the first and serious 
troubles arising from hastily-made transport arrangements. 
The heavily-laden carts sank deep into the road; the teams 
of Chinese mules, unaccustomed to foreign drivers, 
stampeded, kicked, and smashed harness and vehicles, and 


a considerable amount of strong language, in many differ- 
ent tongues, was consequently used on all sides. 

Personally, I fared even worse. Having been unable to 
secure carts in Tientsin, I felt very proud of the artillery 
saddles, on which I had toiled for several hours, working 
like a saddler to make them fit my mules. The saddles 
looked very handsome (at least, to me) when they were fin- 
ished; and when the moment came for starting we were able, 
with the assistance of eight American soldiers, four Chinese 
servants, and two Sikhs, to fix them on the backs of the 
mules, who, not being accustomed to them, gave us no end 
of trouble. Although I have had a great deal to do with 
mules, I have never found more vicious and tiresome animals 
than those of North China. It is probably because they are 
so ill-treated. The baggage was eventually properly fast- 


ened on and duly balanced, and, barring a few mishaps, all 
went well the first day. 

When I was about to leave Pei-tsang I discovered, much 
to my sorrow, that the mules had, during the night, kicked 
the saddles to pieces. A short journey in the neighbour- 
hood with my Indian servant led to the happy discovery of 
an abandoned Chinese cart, and in less than no time a young 
Christian Chinaman wlio was with me made a harness with 
stray bits of rope and straps removed from the broken 
saddles. We then proceeded triumphantly with a nice team 
of three mules, and I had a spare splendid white mule to 
ride on. 

Acting on the information collected by the Bengal Lan- 
cers the previous night, the British and Americans led the 
advance, marching about ten miles before coming into touch 
with the enemy. 

The Cossack cavalry discovered the enemy commanding 
a strong wedge-shaped position formed by the railway em- 
bankment and the river, and intersected by a forked road. 
The Chinese left flank was protected by three guns near a 
building, and four hundred cavalry some distance beyond 
the railway embankment. There were also five guns to the 
north; five more stood still further back on the opposite 
bank of the river, commanding both sides of the road, direct- 
ly across the iron railway bridge, and three others on the 
south side of the railway. 

The railway embankment, being very high, and provided 
with a long platform near the station, furnished a command- 
ing position, together with most excellent protection. 

On the side of the Allies the line of battle was formed as 
follows: On the left, along the river, were the Russian 
infantry and artillery (4 guns) ; next to them, on the south, 














and to the right, came the British Royal Artillery, the ist 
Sikhs, supported by the 14th United States Infantry on their 
right on the west side of the track, and the 9th Infantry, 
supported by marines; Reilly's battery, six guns, and the 
Bengal Lancers, were on the east side. The Tskamoto 
Japanese brigade was held in reserve, and occupied the ex- 

I t 


treme right of the advance; while more Russians, with the 
7th Bengal Infantry to their left, were near the Hsiao-chieh 
houses, and the French infantry behind them. 

At about 1,500 yards the line began to deploy with no 
very great opposition and in comparative safety, as there was 
fair cover from trees, undulations in the ground, and 
stray houses; but when only at nine hundred yards the ad- 
vance became very slow, and was made under a terrific fire 
with no cover at all. As can be seen by a glance at the map, 
the wedge formed by the embankment of the road and that 
of the railway becomes gradually narrower, and eventually 



forms a point at its northern portion. It was at this point 
that the ist Sikhs and the 24th Punjab Infantry were forced 
forward in close formation, with K and M companies of 
the 14th United States Infantry by their side. 

The I St Sikhs advanced well until they found themselves 
in the narrow depression shown in the illustration, where 


Taken from the Chinese position and showing depression occupied by Sikhs 
and above it position occupied by Americans. 

they got penned in and were exposed to very heavy fire. 
They held fast to their position, while the Americans came 
along in skirmishing order. The 14th, which was ahead, 
when coming round the bend in the road, came under the 
fire of the gun which the Chinese had placed on the em- 
bankment near the water-tower, and also from the rifles of 
the Chinese infantrymen in houses and behind trees. 

The Chinese, furthermore, were lining the whole parapet 
of the station platform, whence they kept up a hot fusillade. 
Their forces consisted of Imperial troops in the centre and 
well-armed Boxers at the sides. 





The Russians, advancing from the same direction, fired 
volley after volley into the Chinese, and, having brought up 
their artillery, shelled the enemy with great effect. 

The Sikhs were for one moment under such heavy fire 
that they could not advance. Those few of the Americans 
who were not exhausted by fatigue and the terrible heat, 
were ordered by Colonel Daggett, when at eight hundred 
yards, and under a withering fire from front and 
flank, to rush the Chinese position. A hand- 
ful of them, led by brave Lieutenant Murphy, 
of the 14th, and a handful of plucky Sikhs, 
with Major Scott at their head, stormed the 
embankment, the Chinese running for dear life 
at their approach. 

Lieutenant Murphy was the first to reach 
the position where the Chinese gun had been; 
then, a second later, came Scott with six Sikhs. 
Captain Martin, with six men of Company M 
(United States Infantry) and one man of Com- 
pany I, arrived next. The Chinese were very 
smart, and dragged away their battery when ^ ^^^ ^ i„i „,tr 
the enemy was only three hundred yards off. 

It was very gratifying to hear Captain Martin speak in 
most glowing terms of the behaviour of the Sikhs on this 
occasion, and one cannot find words suf^cient to express 
one's admiration for such men as Lieutenant Murphy, Cap- 
tain Martin and Major Scott, whose feat on that occasion 
spoke for itself. 

So narrow was the wedge when the Americans passed the 
Sikhs that they actually formed two single lines. When 
double time was ordered the Americans were so much ex- 
hausted from the long march in the morning- — the attack 
began at 1 1 a.m. — and hunger and thirst, that many dropped 



on all sides and became delirious, or went clean out of their 

It was understood that, although wells had been passed, 
the American General had given strict orders that the men 
must not be allowed drink. Some of the fellows suffered 
agonies from the unbearable heat and dust, and the broil- 
ing sun; one soldier particularly, who had become a raving 
lunatic, with his tongue parched and frightfully distorted 
features, was making gestures to his companions to shoot 
him, because he could bear the pain no longer. 

Once the enemy dislodged from the high embankment 
the victory became easy. Captain Taylor, of Company I, 
14th United States Infantry, was the first of the Allies to 
enter the village to the left, and Colonel Daggett reached 
the platform just in time to see the Chinese withdraw in 
good order up the river. 

In their rear to the north the Chinese had one line of 
trenches on the road, one line at the bank of the river, and 
two lines across the plain. When the Allies had seized 
the top of the embankment, the Chinese infantry, having 
occupied their first line of trenches almost parallel with the 
embankment, and about eight hundred yards from it, opened 
fire principally from their left, to protect the retreat of their 

They leisurely withdrew, gaily flying their standards. The 
American 9th, on the right flank, had a splendid opportunity 
of firing into them at short range, and working great havoc; 
but as the Chinese were dressed in blue, and flew white, 
red and blue flags, they were mistaken for Frenchmen and 
so escaped. Later, the French mistook the Americans for 
Chinese, and fired into them ! Fortunately they did not hit 
anybody. When the first error was discovered it was too 
late to pursue the enemy effectively. 




A worse mistake happened. Either the Russian or the 
British gunners (nobody seemed to know for certain) sent 
a few shells among E company of the 14th United States 
Infantry, killing eight and wounding nine. 

The first Chinese trench was taken by a regiment of 
" supports," and the others were evacuated. 

Two squadrons, one being Hinde's, of the ist Bengal 
Lancers, went in pursuit of the enemy in the evening, and 
succeeded in killing fifty. One of General Ma's flags was 
captured, and five standards, and so was a trumpet, with the 
trumpeter. Two lancers were wounded, and one horse was 

The Japanese took no part in the engagement, the 
Yangtsun battle being over by 2.30 p.m., and only fired a 
few shots on the retreating enemy. The Japanese command 
of the division had come up by the right bank of the river, 
and only arrived at five o'clock in the afternoon, having 
been delayed by the difficulty of making temporary bridges 
over the river, which had overflown in many places. 

The Americans and British, who had borne the brunt of 
the fighting, had a heavy list of casualties. American: 21 
killed and 54 dangerously wounded. British: 46 killed and 

The men were so much exhausted that a day's rest was 
deemed necessary; besides, there was the painful duty of 
burying the dead. 

The American funeral was a most impressive sight. 

Preceded by the l)rass band (the American was the only 
force among the Allies which had a band on the march to 
Pekin), the killed were brought up to a large grave, where 
a touching service was read, and then the bodies were laid 
to rest side by side until they could be conveyed at the ex- 
pense of the State, back to America. 


A day's rest — Disgusting cruelty — Japanese in touch with the 
enemy — A Conference of Allied Generals — The Allied line of 
march — The French troops and their Commissariat — The 
Allied Cavalry — The Advance-guard fighting enemy's cavalry — 
General Ma's cook — Half-way to Pekin — Skirmish at Ho-si-wu 
— The Tskamoto brigade — Storming Matao — A surprise at 
Chang-chia-wan — Under cover — Intelligence of horses — A halt 
— Mahomedans. 

The day's rest was partly spent in washing faces and hands 
(the water of the river was not fit for bathing, owing to the 
number of corpses and dead horses floating in it) ; and partly 
in lying about in camp, trying to keep away tiresome flies, 
or devouring the contents of " canned tomato " and 
" corned beef " tins. When one got tired of these occupa- 
tions, one went about to the different camps, where one was 
invariably received with much jovial civility. 

A disgusting bit of cruelty took place a few yards from 
the American camp, owing to the misunderstanding of an 
order given by a superior officer. 

A crowd of soldiers took before him (the American of- 
ficer) a Chinese prisoner, with hands bound behind his back, 
who, they said, was a Boxer spy. 

" What are we to do with him, sir? " inquired the guard. 

" Take him away," was the reply, " and do with him what 
you d please." 


The fellow was dragged off, knocked about, punched and 
kicked. They took him under the railway bridge, and he 
was having a bad time, when a French soldier appeared on 
the scene, and pulling out his revolver shot him in the face. 
With his skull smashed, the man fell, and lay still breathing 
and moaning, with a crowd of soldiers around him, gloating 
over his sufferings. The same French soldier fired another 
shot at him as he lay, and then a Japanese soldier stamped 
on him. 

The poor devil, who showed amazing tenacity of life, 
afterwards had all his clothes torn off him, the soldiers 
being bent on finding the peculiar Boxer charm which all 
Boxers were supposed to possess. For nearly an hour the 
fellow lay in this dreadful condition, with hundreds of 
soldiers leaning over him to get a glimpse of his agony, and 
going into roars of laughter as he made ghastly contortions 
in his delirium. 

Although this was brought to the notice of the superior 
ofHcer, nothing was done to stop the unwarrantable bar- 
barity, and the absence of interference was of course taken 
as an encouragement. This was particularly painful to most 
officers of the Americans, and to the majority of the Amer- 
ican boys, who were as a rule extremely humane, even at 
times extravagantly gracious, towards the enemy. 

While the others were resting on August 7, the 41st 
Japanese regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Ohara. came again into touch with the enemy, and had a 
skirmish near South Saison, which w-as occupied by the 
Japanese at three o'clock in the afternoon. 

At this place a conference of the Allied Generals was held, 
at which it was decided that the Japanese, Russians, Amer- 
icans and British should advance towards Pekin on the fol- 


lowing day, August 8. The order of the Allies in the line of 
march was to be: Japanese, Russians, Americans, British. 

It was also decided that the Japanese and Russian forces 
should alternately send one battalion of infantry to the left 
bank of the river. The various contingents would again 
collect at Tungchow for further consultation, before making 
a rush on Pekin. 

Owing to the unprepared state of their commissariat, 
which made it almost impossible for them to continue their 
march, the French troops were left at Yangtsun to guard 
the communications. 

The Japanese, Russian and British cavalry were placed 
under the command of the Japanese senior cavalry officer, 
Colonel Morioka. 

August 8. The Japanese advance guard of General 
Yamaguchi's division, at the head of the Allies, and com- 
manded by Lieutenant-Colonel Ohara, started at eight in 
the morning, followed by the main body of the army under 
Major-General Manabe. 

The advance guard had some fighting with the infantry 
and with 300 cavalry of the enemy. The Chinese, after firing 
a few shots at long range, ran out of their position and re- 
treated on Hu-chin-shien. The Japanese lost three men in 
the brush with Ma's horsemen, but succeeded in capturing 
General Ma's cook, who volunteered the information that 
the Chinese troops were demoralised and fast breaking 
up, a portion of the army moving towards Pekin, the other 
part returning to the southern provinces, whence it had 

On August 9 the Allies were half-way between Tientsin 
and Pekin. 

The Japanese advance guard, when 2,500 yards from the 



town of Ho-si-wii, discovered the enemy in the soutli end 
of the village. The Chinese opened fire, but the Japanese 
stormed the position, and the enemy ran away in confusion. 
A number of them were killed, and some Japanese were 
wounded in going through the town by treacherous snipers 
concealed inside houses. The town had been ransacked by 


Boxers and Imperial soldiers prior to our arrival, and this 
was the case with nearly every village we passed through. 

Ho-si-wu was captured at 8.50 a.m., and from some of the 
inhabitants made prisoners it was understood that the enemy 
was here ten thousand strong, and under the supreme com- 
mand of Generals Ma and Lii. They had abandoned the 
position at the approach of the Allies, after making a half- 
hearted defence. 

After resting here awhile, the march was continued 
towards Matao, and the enemy, who had retreated from 
Ho-si-wu, was now reported ready to fight us at the walled 
town of Shan-Maiao. 

I was then with the Japanese advance guard, composed 
of light cavalry. We started the next morning, the loth, 
at 3.30 A.M., and at 4.30 the Tskamoto brigade followed. 



At Matao itself we had a skirmish with the enemy, and easily 
succeeded in putting them to flight. 

The photograph given in page 367 shows the Japanese ad- 
vance storming Matao, and the ammunition boxes being 
taken to the front. 

The right and left wing had come together again in one 

j.i..,;, i^ijL. a1j\a:.ce guard 
Under cover while shelled by Chinese. 

body, at An-ping, and having passed Matao spent the night 
at Shan-Matao. 

The Allied cavalry started again at 3.30 the next morning 
(the I ith), followed by the Tskamoto brigade and the other 
Allies. When the advance guard reached Kao-tchan, south 
of Chang-chia-wan, we suddenly came in for a surprise. We 
were riding gaily through a narrowish street of the suburbs, 
and had arrived at the bridge, when we were received with 
a few well-aimed shells, which compelled us quickly to turn 
back and get under cover of the houses. 


The Chinese continued their shelHng for some time, but 
fortunately the shells passed over our heads, and exploded 
farther away. 

It was most interesting to note the intelligence of horses 
on such occasions. It seemed as if they knew the danger, 
and what was the best way to protect themselves. As can 
be seen by the photograph which I took at the time, the 
horses were leamng one against the other, packed close 
against the wall that gave them cover. 

Some Japanese infantry came up, and at the same time the 
left wing reached the gate of Chang-chia-wan, while we 
galloped down the side of the canal under a pretty thick 
fusillade and occasional shells. The enemy, however, were 
very careful to withdraw their artillery in time, covering the 
retreat of their guns with rifle fire. The enemy escaped in 
two directions, some to the north-west and some directly 
north on Tung-chow. 

A halt was called here that the Allies might make prep- 
arations for an assault on the large town of Tung-chow, 
which they believed to be strongly garrisoned. 

Chang-chia-wan was an interesting place, mostly inhab- 
ited by Mahomedans, who had a handsome mosque near the 
city wall. The priests, with their pointed blue or whitish 
caps, were very intelligent and good-natured — quite a con- 
trast to the Buddhist bonzes. They were much disturbed by 
seeing houses of Mahomedans flare up, as they professed 
that the Mahomedans were friends of foreigners, not 

The simplicity of their mosque and quarters as compared 

to the elaborate, showy display in Buddhist establishments 

commended itself to one. The Mahomedans had no good 

word for the Boxers, w'ho, they said, had looted the town 
Vol. I. — 24 


and committed all sorts of atrocities on men, women and 
children, while the Imperial troops, were no better than the 
followers of the Ih-hwo-ch'uan. The greater part of the 
troops, they said, had left the town the previous day, and 
only a small number of soldiers had remained to defend the 
town. Asked whether they believed foreigners in Pekin 
had been murdered, they pulled long faces, and feared the 
worst. They seemed to have a perfect horror of the Boxers. 


Selection of camps — Corn-fields — Maps — The way to Pekin — 
A picturesque temple — The red and the black-faced God of 
War — A pale-faced god — Stifling heat — Japanese and the water- 
melons — British — Indian — The Russian soldier — Kitchen on 
wheels — Prayers. 

In my moments of leisure, if one may call them so, and 
when there was no fighting going on, I took special delight 
in going to visit the various camps of the Allies, or in riding 
backwards and forwards to see how the different troops 
were marching. 

I was particularly impressed by seeing how clever and 
sensible the British, the Russians and the Japanese were in 
selecting their resting-grounds, and how shockingly un- 
happy was the American General in the selection of a suit- 
able camp for his men. In a suffocating climate like the one 
in which we were, the main point in selecting a camp was to 
get as much air as possible, besides, of course, water. The 
more open the better, a hill being preferable to a hollow. 

Whether by carelessness or otherwise, the poor American 
fellows, who suffered terribly on the road to begin with, 
were invariably made to settle down at night in fields of 
thick Indian corn, which varied in height from four to six 
feet. Now, if there is one place where no sensible person 
would ever settle for a night's sleep, it is a corn-field, for, 



besides the want of air, there are 
myriads of mosquitoes, midges, and 
every other possible kind of plague 
such as one generally tries to avoid. 

From the time the Americans left 
Tientsin till they were in Pekin, they 
were invariably given a camp of 
this kind, their General seeming to 
have a great liking for Indian corn. 
On one or two occasions, when there 
was unused, excellent camping ground 
only a few yards away, they were made 
to settle in these places, and no end 
of discontent naturally arose among 
the soldiers and officers. 

The Americans, like the British, 
possessed inadequate maps, but some- 
how or other the British seemed to 
have a knack of finding their way 
about and taking care of themselves; 
whereas the Americans were con- 
stantly losing their way, and, exhausted 
as they were, had often to march 
several miles more than was neces- 
sary. When the soldiers did not 
lose their way the mule teams did, and 
occasioned uncomfortable delays in the 
feeding department. 

All this could have been avoided with 
the greatest ease, and if I mention it at 
all it is because of the great interest I 
take in the American soldier. He is a 
splendid soldier, and there is no reason 

From Tientsin to Tungchow 


why he should be made to suffer unnecessarily. The 
number that fell out of the ranks on the march was ap- 
palling, and it was a common saying that if you wanted 
to find your way — not the shortest — from Tientsin to Pekin, 
all you had to do was to follow the trail of blankets, water- 
bottles, haversacks, and other articles that the American 
boys had thrown away on the march, as they had not suf- 
ficient strength to carry them. 

One day, when everything seemed pretty quiet, I stopped 
at a picturesque temple, in which was the red-faced god of 
war — the Boxer god — with his luxuriant black moustache 
and whiskers, and his chest in shining gold cuirasse, his 
legs wide apart, and his right arm raised in a threatening 
attitude. The god of war was garbed in his long coat of 
green, yellow and red, with sleeves and front adorned by 
dragons; his complexion, as befits his name, was of the 
reddest red, and he wore a helmet of gold, red and blue, 
with two horn-like arrangements behind. 

To his right stood the black-faced god of war, with a 
fierce expression on his features, holding a spear in a 
menacing way in his hand, while the other hand rested 
defiantly on his hip. He too had a gold cuirasse and over 
it a short, tight-fitting flowered coat, while a dragon in all 
its length descended from his waist to his feet. The black- 
faced god had a gold sash, and gold and green leggings. 
His headgear consisted of a three-pointed hat. 

On the left of these highly-coloured deities stood a pale- 
faced god, in a well-cut red jacket that fitted like a glove, 
and a handsome cloak, white, green and red. Although his 
expression was not pleasing — for he had a snarling nose, 
bovine eyes, and Mephistophelean eyebrows — he seemed 


less fierce in his manner than his companions, and carried 
with great caution a box in a yellow wrapper. His boots 
were gaudy — all gold — but simple in design. 

The red-faced god was evidently the most worshipped of 
the three, for, besides occupying the central position, an 
altar was placed before him with burners for joss-sticks. 
The remains of hundreds of these lay at his feet. 

Some soldiers came in, and took special delight in punch- 
ing the heads of these fearsome images; and while their 
beards were pulled of¥, and they were being knocked to 
pieces, I went out to see the troops marching past. 

It was an unbearably hot day, and the dust was choking. 
The Japanese went steadily and well, but looked very much 
worn and overladen. They had come across some water- 
melon patches, and were all biting away at huge slices of 
melon. Some men dropped ofi every now and then, but the 
little fellows had such indomitable will that when their 
physical strength failed, their pride made them keep up 
with the rest. 

The Britishers were taking things in a calm fashion, 
sprawling along in a pretty easy way ; they were well fed and 
properly looked after, and did not seem to suffer quite so 
much as some of the other troops. They generally marched 
in the cool of the morning and evening, which saved the 
men considerably, instead of doing like the Americans, who 
marched in the hottest hours of the day. 

The thin-legged Indian troops stood the march very well. 
There was, however, some fever and dysentery among them, 
and even more among the British white troops. With the 
Americans, those who had not something of the kind were 
the exceptions. 



The Russians were the only soldiers who stood the march 
in a magnificent manner. I never saw one single man fall 
out of the ranks, and although, of course, they felt the heat, 
they undoubtedly proved themselves to be, physically, by far 
the sturdiest soldiers of the Allies. 

Their kitchens on wheels were very interesting, and 


proved of the greatest use. The Russian soldier was a born 
musician and singer. Music was his best friend, and he used 
it on every possible occasion. He sang when he marched, 
which made the road seem short and light to him; he sang 
when he was sad. when he was happy, when he was cooking, 
when he was praying. Indeed, one of the most impressive 
scenes one could imagine was presented on visiting a Rus- 
sian camp in the evening. 

Everything was bustle and noise; soldiers moving here 
and there; others lying flat, half asleep. At a bugle- 
signal, all stopped, and every man present sprang to his 
feet and humbly removed his cap. Then a chorus of musical 
voices rose from the deep-sounding chests of the sturdy 
Cossacks in a fervent prayer to the Father Almighty, the 


Saviour, and the Virgin Mary. With the last appealing 
sound waves of the " Amen " fading away, down went the 
soldiers to the ground, and in a few moments, barring the 
sentries, the camp was asleep. 










Nearing Tung-chow — Japanese artillery — A cut in the river 
bank — A midnight attack — Home-made guns — Gate blown up 
— A Deputation — Suicides — The British naval guns — Business 
as usual — An unlucky beggar — Severed heads — A faithful little 
dog — A well-earned rest — The advance-guard on a reconnais- 
sance — A conference of the Allied Generals — To march at once 
on Pekin, 

While the other troops took advantage of the day's rest at 
Chang-chia-wan, the Japanese advance-guard pushed on 
ahead, and at i p.m. was again fighting the enemy, with 
whom they had caught up, and who was running before 
them. In this race they had reached within 3,000 yards of 
Tung-chow, when they perceived with spy-glasses a great 
number of Chinese soldiers on the city wall and outside 
the town. The Japanese artillery was brought up 1,000 
yards from the city, and shelled the enemy till four o'clock in 
the afternoon. There seemed, however, to be no sign that 
an efifective resistance would be offered. 

On nearing Tung-chow we found that the Chinese had in 
one place cut a ditch across the bank of the river, so as to 
inundate the country. They had succeeded to a certain 
extent. In the photograph here reproduced Japanese sap- 
pers can be seen hard at work to prevent the flow of water. 
Their eflforts, after some hours' struggle, were rewarded with 



success. When a sufficient number of troops had arrived 
at Tung-chow and encamped some little way outside the 
wall, the Japanese commenced an attack on the town at mid- 
night. They were fired upon from the wall, the Chinese 
actually using some of their home-made guns, over a hun- 
dred years old. They had spread a quantity of these along 


the wall, and they were the most primitive kind of guns I 
have ever seen. Most of them had not even a gun-carriage, 
and were merely resting on the parapet of the wall. In firing 
them, one or two of these guns fell over the wall ! 

At 3.30 A.M. on August 12 the Japanese advance-guard 
reached the city gate, while the other troops were deploying, 
but no resistance was oftered. One company of engineers 
blew up the gate with dynamite. 

At 4.30 the whole army of the Allies entered the city by 
the south gate, but a wing went in by the South-West en- 


trance of the town. A deputation had been received saying 
that no fighting would take place if the lives and property 
of the people were safeguarded. In fact, in a few moments 
nearly every house along the principal streets was guarded 
by a Japanese soldier, and a Japanese flag of truce waved 
over every door. The Americans and the British remained 
encamped outside the town to the south, where good well- 
water was obtained and also some shade. 

In the advance since August 6, after the battle of Pei- 
tsang, the Japanese had lost two killed and thirteen 

Some women, in despair at having had their homes looted 
by Boxers and Imperial soldiers previous to their abandon- 
ment of the city, committed suicide by jumping from the 
city wall. Both soldiers and Boxers, of whom this impor- 
tant town had been full, had fled by the paved road to Pekin 
previous to our entry into the city. 

As far as this point the Allies had naturally kept in con- 
stant touch with their transport, the communication being 
to a considerable extent by water. The British naval guns 
had also been brought up on boats, but were never used. 
From Tung-chow, however, the Pei-ho had to be aban- 
doned, nor was the canal which joined Pekin to this town 
used in any way. 

Most of the inhabitants of Tung-chow had bolted, but the 
shops and houses still remained in their original condition, 
and business was carried on as usual. But not for long. 
After a few hours the Japanese soldiers who were on guard 
were the first to break into the shops they were guarding, 
and the soldiers of the other Allies lost no time in imitating 
their example. It was, however, impossible for them to 
carry away much. By the afternoon the main street and 



others were wrecked, and before nightfall a good many dead 
Chinamen were lying about. An unfortunate Chinese youth, 
a half-witted cripple, prowling about the streets begging, 
found on the ground a brand-new coat discarded by a run- 
away Imperial soldier. He joyfully garbed himself in it, 


and walked unconcernedly up the main street, where he 
was pounced upon by the Japanese, who mistook him for 
a soldier. He was roughly handled, beaten, tied hand and 
foot, and exposed at the corner of the two principal roads 
intersecting each other at right angles. The poor fellow 
was in a pitiable condition, and several hours later he was 
dead. As one rode about one saw strange sights. Carcases 
of horses decomposing fast in the sun, a mass of mov- 
ing maggots, houses burning, natives in the farther 



streets — nearly all men — stampeding in every direction at 
the approach of a foreigner, Chinese looting the houses of 
their neighbours at every turn. Here and there along the 
road hung to the wall, streaked and splashed with blood, 
heads severed from their bodies, 
the work of Celestial justice. 
Perhaps some of these poor 
devils were the messengers de 
spatched from the Pekin Lega 
tions to Tientsin. In a side street, 
where most of the houses were 
smashed in or burnt down, a 
dear little dog stood, sad and 
restless, on, the doorstep of a 
burnt-down house. He kept con- 
stantly looking up and down 
the street, evidently waiting for 
his missing master. 

I rode down the same way several hours later, and there 
he was still, straining his eyes to the right and left in 
expectation of one who probably was no more. I tried to 
feed him with some biscuits I had in my pocket, but he would 
not eat, nor would he touch some water that I procured 
him. The poor thing looked starved and heart-broken. It 
was quite pathetic. He positively refused to leave the door, 
or I would have liked to have taken him with me. A more 
affectionate and faithful little dog it would be difficult to 

The greater part of the day (12th) was spent by the 
soldiers in well-earned rest, but at night a battalion of 
Japanese infantry was sent to Pan-Chia-wo as an advance- 
guard, and the Allied cavalry went for a reconnaisance 



towards Pekin through Huan-Kua-He. The Allied Gen- 
erals held a conference, at which it was deemed advisable to 
follow up immediately the successes so far obtained, and not 
give the enemy time to recover his courage, and perhaps 
his strength. Although the Allied soldiers were in a 
bad condition, and would have been all the better for an 
extra day's rest, it was thought necessary to march at once 
on Pekin. 

A distance of only fourteen miles separated us. 

Having brought the reader practically to the gates of the 
capital, we will now for a while leave the Allied forces and 
hear what had taken place in the besieged Legations while 
we were rushing up to their relief.